Nov 16, 2016

Searsport Harbor dredge plans:two updates. Plus Camden & Blue Hill dredge news

Maine  Dredging Team Updates 
The Maine Dredging Team today released minutes from its October 11, 2016 meeting in Portland.  The team is led by Maine DOT  and the Army Corps of Engineers  and includes other state and federal agencies.  At the meeting, the Army Corps of  Engineers (ACOE)reviewed  the status of current navigation improvement projects in Maine. 
Below are sections from the report about Searsport Harbor,  Camden Harbor & Blue Hill Bay.  Read full 2 page report here. (pdf)  *** Meeting participants list (pdf)

Searsport Harbor (1). Ed O’Donnell (ACOE) explained that, at the request of MaineDOT, the ACOE is evaluating options for maintenance dredging of the existing federal project as a separate project, independent of the related proposed navigation improvement project. See above. Mr. O’Donnell clarified that the maintenance dredging project would be confined to the boundaries of the existing federal project, and involves dredging about 40,000 cy of material near the piers. Mr. O’Donnell further explained that ACOE is looking at various disposal options, would like to place the dredged material in a suitable upland location, and is awaiting further information from MaineDOT. 

Rob Elder (MaineDOT) noted that Maine DOT has retained an environmental consulting firm to investigate to assess upland disposal alternatives. In response to questions, 

Jay Clement (ACOE) indicated that he had no knowledge of discussions of potential dredging in the Penobscot River and placement of dredged materials in a CAD cell to be built off Castine and Cape Jellison as part of the federal court-ordered cleanup of mercury contamination. Mr. Clement said he’d check with colleagues and provide follow information. In response to the questions, Mr. Clement further explained that any such dredging and disposal project would require applicable state and federal permits, applications for which would be processed with public notice and opportunity for comment and in consultation with natural resources agencies. Mr. Clement further explained that a project-specific EA would prepared and would be the basis for determining whether an EIS would be appropriate to ensure a hard look at environmental effects.

Searsport Harbor (2) Ed O’Donnell (ACOE) explained that, at the request of MaineDOT, the ACOE is evaluating options for maintenance dredging of the existing federal project as a separate project, independent of the related proposed navigation improvement project. See above.
Searsport Harbor. Mack Point dredging, 1966.

Ed O’Donnell clarified that the maintenance dredging project would be confined to the boundaries of the existing federal project, and involves dredging about 40,000 cy of material near the piers. Mr. O’Donnell further explained that ACOE is looking at various disposal options, would like to place the dredged material in a suitable upland location, and is awaiting further information from MaineDOT.   Rob Elder (MDOT)noted that MaineDOT has retained an environmental consulting firm to investigate to assess upland disposal alternatives.

In response to questions, Jay Clement (ACOE) indicated that he had no knowledge of discussions of potential dredging in the Penobscot River and placement of dredged materials in a CAD cell to be built off Castine and Cape Jellison as part of the federal court-ordered cleanup of mercury contamination.  Mr. Clement said he’d check with colleagues and provide follow information. In response to the questions, Mr. Clement further explained that any such dredging and disposal project would require applicable state and federal permits, applications for which would be processed with public notice and opportunity for comment and in consultation with natural resources agencies. Mr. Clement further explained that a project-specific EA would prepared and would be the basis for determining whether an EIS would be appropriate to ensure a hard look at environmental effects.

Camden Harbor .  Mark Habel (ACOE) reported that ACOE headquarters approved federal involvement in a feasibility study of a proposal to improve the existing breakwater. Work on this project remains on-hold pending execution of a feasibility cost-sharing agreement with the Town of Camden pursuant to which the town would be obligated to fund 50% of the study’s cost.  The ACOE awaits the Town’s decision.  Note This project has been "on hold" since at least May, 2016.      Camden Harbor Navigation Project

Blue Hill Bay. Mark Habel (ACOE) said that the Town of Blue Hill and the ACOE have entered into a cooperative agreement for the on-going feasibility study for this project. which involves a proposed shallow-draft channel and turning basin. See news story.10/20/16 Environmental sampling showed gasoline contamination in some areas where dredging had been planned, and additional sampling showed this to be confined to surface sediments, with clean glacial till comprising the bulk of the material to be dredged. The ACOE and town are also looking at reconfiguring the turning basin to minimize the volume of contaminated material needing removal.

No comments: