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 United States in conjunction with dredging and disposal of dredge material in Chatham, Mass.
The town of Chatham proposes dredging and the discharge of dredged material below the high tide line of waters of the United States for the dredging of seven waterway sites and disposal of dredge material at 17 disposal sites in the town of Chatham. Six of the proposed dredge sites have been previously permitted by the Corps and are, therefore, maintenance dredging sites. One of the dredge sites is new dredging. Also, two of the dredge sites are Federal Navigation Projects maintained by the Corps.
All of the proposed disposal sites have been previously permitted by the Corps. Fourteen of the disposal sites are beach nourishment sites and three of the disposal sites are nearshore sites. The total amount of proposed dredging is 336,850 cubic yards.
Dredging would be performed by both mechanical and hydraulic means. The purpose of this Corps permit review is to bring all of the town’s dredging and disposal activities under one comprehensive permit. This will provide the town the flexibility they need to dredge and nourish the highest priority areas and allow for effective and efficient use of town resources. The permit will be valid for 10 years.
The proposed dredge locations and disposal sites are detailed in the public notice on the Corps website at: http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx.
The dredging portion of this project will impact approximately 773 acres and the beach nourishment portion of this project will impact approximately 50 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 a final permit decision.
The application for the federal permit was filed by the town of Chatham with the Corps of Engineers 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 United States; and with 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 30, 2013 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.