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Posted 4/19/2016

Release no. 2016-031


Contact
Tim Dugan
978-318-8264
cenae-pa@usace.army.mil

CONCORD, Mass. – The town of Chatham is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District to conduct work in waters of the U.S. in conjunction with modifications to a previous permit to dredge and dispose of material as beach nourishment in Chatham, Mass.

 

The town of Chatham has applied for permit modification to a previous permit which was issued to the town on Jan. 31, 2014. The modifications would allow expansion of the town’s dredging and disposal program into other areas that have become a priority since approval of the original project. The original permit combined seven town dredging projects and 17 disposal sites into a town-wide dredging permit for better management of the projects. The town of Chatham is now seeking to incorporate additional sites into the town-wide permits as follows:

 

Two new dredging sites are proposed. A large new zone of dredging (improvement dredging) is proposed in Pleasant Bay. Shoaling within Pleasant Bay has been an ongoing concern and the town is proposing to incorporate improvement dredging within a new large “zone of potential dredging” located in Pleasant Bay between Minister’s Point and Strong Island. A small maintenance dredging project has been added at Mitchell River.

 

Four additional beach nourishment disposal sites are proposed: Scatteree Landing – expansion of existing approved beach nourishment area from 18,320 square feet to 80,995 square feet for the Pleasant Bay dredging material; Linnell Lane – for disposal of dredged material from town dredging projects and additional capacity for the Pleasant Bay dredging; Nearshore – an additional nearshore disposal site just outside the northern inlet for mechanical dredging in proximity to potential dredging locations and to provide an alternative site for hopper dredging operations if existing nearshore sites become infeasible to access due to ongoing changes in the beach and inlet morphology of the old inlet system; and Pleasant Street (Private Beach) – for disposal of dredged material from town dredging projects.

 

Dredging would be performed by both mechanical and hydraulic means. The purpose of this permit review is to bring all of the town’s dredging and disposal activities under on comprehensive permit. This will give the town the flexibility to dredge and nourish the highest priority areas and allow for effective and efficient use of town resources. The permit would be valid for 10 years.

 

The dredging portion of this project will impact approximately 550 acres and the beach nourishment portion will impact approximately 331 acres of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for various species and life stages. Habitat at this site can be described as subtidal silt and sand. Loss of this habitat may adversely affect these species. However, the Corps has made a preliminary determination that the site-specific adverse effect will not be substantial. Further consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service regarding EFH conservation recommendations is being conducted and will be concluded prior to the final permit decision.

 

The public notice, with more specifics on the work proposed by the town of Chatham, can be viewed on the Corps website at  www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx.

 

The application for the federal permit was filed with the Corps in compliance with Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, which provides for federal regulation of any work in, or affecting navigable waters of the U.S.; and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in U.S. waters, including wetlands.

 

Public comments on this work proposed by the town of Chatham (file # NAE-2011-488) should be forwarded no later than May 19, 2016 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Kevin Kotelly), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Kevin Kotelly at 978-318-8703 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: kevin.r.kotelly@usace.army.mil.