New England News Releases

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Feature Stories

Public Hearings held in Connecticut and New York on Long Island Sound Dredged Material Management Plan

USACE, New England District
Published Sept. 14, 2015
Cover shot of the Long Island Sound Draft Dredged Material Management Plan.

Cover shot of the Long Island Sound Draft Dredged Material Management Plan.

The New England District released for public review and comment the Long Island Sound Draft Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP) and Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) on Monday, Aug.17.   The public comment period will run through Oct. 16. 

The New England District conducted public hearings Aug. 24-27 and Sept. 16-17.  The first two public hearings were held in New York; on Aug. 24 in the Village Center at Port Jefferson in Port Jefferson, and on  Aug.  25, at the Marriott Long Island  in Uniondale.   Two subsequent public hearings were held in Connecticut: on, Aug. 26 at the University of Connecticut in Stamford; and on  Aug. 27 at the Holiday Inn in New London.

The final two hearings were held Sept. 16 in Riverhead, New York and Sept. 17 in New Haven Connecticut.  Hearings at all locations began at 6 p.m. with registration at 5:30 p.m.  

The primary purpose of the hearings was to solicit the public’s comments and input. More than 150 people attended first four hearings with 57 of them providing comments about the project.

Col. David Caldwell, New York District Commander, served as hearing officer for the New York meetings.  Col. Christopher Barron, New England District Commander served as Hearing Officer for the final meetings. 

“In their June 2005 Final Rule that designated two dredged material placement sites in central and western Long Island Sound the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency called for the development of a Long Island Sound wide DMMP,” said Col. Barron.  “In addition, the governors of Connecticut and New York requested that the Corps prepare a DMMP for Long Island Sound.”

According to Col. Barron, the DMMP was to evaluate alternative placement practices, with the goal of reducing or eliminating open water placement of dredged material in the water of Long Island Sound wherever practicable.

Mark Habel, Chief, Navigation Section, Engineering/Planning and Stacy Pala, Battelle Memorial Institute provided an overview of the plan.  Lynn McLeod of Battelle served as the moderator for the first four meetings

Prior to the public hearings, District representatives encouraged interested members of the public to review the draft documents online, located at www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/ProjectsTopics/LongIslandSoundDMMP.aspx, so that they could better understand the processes and history involved in dredged material placement. 

“Historically, most dredged material in the region was placed in open water sites,” said Col. Barron.  “Even today most dredged material is found suitable for open water placement following extensive physical, chemical and biological testing.” 

Col. Barron said that where feasible, beneficial uses such as beach renourishment and near shore placement have also been used. 

“However, over the past 30 years federal and state agencies have increased their efforts to find practicable alternatives to open water placement,” he said.  “This dredged material management plan examines dredging needs, the history of dredging and dredged material placement and current beneficial use practices.”

For those who cannot attend the public hearings, written comments may be submitted to the Corps. Public comments on the Draft DMMP and Draft PEIS should be forwarded no later than Oct.16 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, (ATTN: LIS DMMP/PEIS Program Manager Meghan Quinn), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751.


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