CONCORD, Mass. – Jay M. Cashman of Quincy Shipyard, LLC, is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District to conduct work in waters of the U.S. to expand and modify the dredging footprint to Pier 1 in the Quincy Shipyard to create a turning basin in Quincy, Mass. This work is proposed in the Fore River at 549 South Street in Quincy.
The proposed work involves the expansion and modification to the authorized dredging footprint at and adjacent to Pier 1 in the Quincy Shipyard in order to create a turning basin to accommodate the turning radius of larger vessels. From 2016 to 2017, the Quincy Shipyard dredged an estimated 23,000 cubic yards of dredged material from the 2.5-acre berth adjacent to the proposed turning basin at Pier 1 to a depth of -38 feet mean low water (MLW) in order to accommodate larger vessels at the Designated Port Area site, which is reserved for marine industrial uses. Due to concerns about the current depths expressed by pilots and captains of the larger vessels, the proponent proposes to expand the dredge footprint in order to create a turning basin to allow these large vessels to more easily maneuver into the newly dredged berth.
The work includes dredging of approximately 4,500 cubic yards of silty material from approximately 1.50 acres of subtidal habitat in the Fore River to a depth of -31 feet mean low water from existing depths ranging from -27 feet MLW to -31 feet MLW. The area will be dredged to depths ranging from -31 feet MLW to -32 feet MLW in order to allow for vessels to reach the federal navigation channel, which is currently authorized to be maintained to a depth of -35 feet MLLW.
The dredged material will be loaded onto scows and the scows will be moored within the dredging site where the material within the scows will be allowed to settle for a minimum of 24 hours to allow for the fine material to drop out of suspension. Once the material has settled, the excess standing water will be decanted and returned to the project waters. The dredged material will be offloaded from the scows and placed at a stockpile within the Quincy Shipyard before being transported to the Peabody Landfill to be used as cover.
The applicant has proposed to minimize impacts to the Fore River and fisheries resources within the area by employing the following best management practices: dredging will be conducted with an environmental bucket in order to reduce the amount spill back of sediment into the Fore River; deploying a turbidity curtain to minimize the migration of suspended particles; maintaining a slow dredge speed to minimize suspension of sediment; and employing a trained Endangered Species Observer.
Dredging will impact approximately 1.50 acres of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for various species and life stages. Habitat at this site can be described as subtidal silt. 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 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. The public notice, with more specifics on the proposed work by Quincy Shipyard, LLC, can be viewed on the Corps website at www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx.
Public comments on this work proposed by Quincy Shipyard, LLC, (file # NAE-2011-00212) should be forwarded no later than June 15, 2017 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Joshua Helms), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Joshua Helms at 978-318-8211 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.