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Boston public works department seeks permit to discharge fill for utility crossings from Moon Island to Long Island

Published March 17, 2015

CONCORD, Mass. The city of Boston Public Works Department is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct work in waters of the U.S. in conjunction with the installation of utility crossings in Boston Harbor in Boston, Mass. The city plans to conduct work within and to discharge dredged and/or fill material into up to 9.23 acres of waters of the U.S. in Boston Harbor (Quincy Bay), as part of the installation of utility crossings (a 16-inch HDPE water main, an electrical submarine cable, and a telecom submarine cable) from Moon Island to Long Island. These utilities previously hung off the pre-existing Long Island Bridge, but they needed to be relocated when the bridge was scheduled for demolition.


The city plans to trench in these utilities or to install them using a horizontal directional dredge technique. Approximately 29,330 cubic yards of sediment will be excavated by barge-mounted excavators as part of the trenching operations. This project will be phased so that only small segments of the crossing will be open at any time. Sediments will be temporarily stockpiled within in-water areas adjacent to the trench. The city proposes to install turbidity curtains around the construction area, in order to minimize turbidity impacts to adjacent areas. Unsuitable sediments will be disposed of at an approved upland disposal area.


The city has prepared a restoration plan, detailing how open water areas within the construction area will be restored, so that these impacts are only temporary. The project will impact approximately 9.23 acres of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for various species and life stages. This habitat consists of a mixture of coarse and fine grained habitat types. Temporary loss of these habitats 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 with 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, can be viewed on the Corps website at:


Public comments on this proposal (file #NAE-2014-2100-utility) should be forwarded no later than April 1, 2015 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Paul Sneeringer), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA  01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Paul Sneeringer at 978-318-8491 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to:

Tim Dugan

Release no. 2015-022