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Passumpsic Valley Land Trust, Inc. seeks Corps permit to place fill to remove East Burke Dam

Published March 24, 2015

CONCORD, Mass. The Passumpsic Valley Land Trust, Inc. 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 removing the East Burke Dam in East Burke, Vermont. The applicant proposes to conduct work and place fill material in the East Branch of the Passumpsic River in conjunction with the removal of the East Burke Dam and stabilization of the riverbanks near the intersection of Route 114 and Darling Hill Road East in East Burke.


The purpose of the proposed project is to restore this section of the river to its natural condition, remove a fish migration barrier, reconnect habitat for aquatic biota, facilitate natural sediment transport and fluviogeomorphic processes, improve water quality, and eliminate a safety hazard.


Work will consist of construction of a temporary access road, removal of the dam, excavation of 8,500 cubic yards of sediment below ordinary high water (OHW) from an area extending from the dam to about 700 feet upstream, and stabilization of about 1,600 linear feet of riverbank. The existing 4.75-acre impoundment contains an additional 7,000 cubic yards of sediments which will be released upon removal of the dam. Pre- and post-construction monitoring will be conducted both upstream and downstream of the dam to determine if any other long-term impacts occur and to determine any remedial action as necessary.


Removal of the dam and the resultant lowered water surface elevation of the river also will have an effect on the hydrology of a 3.4-acre scrub-shrub wetland located about 1,000 feet upstream of the dam. Pre- and post-construction monitoring will be conducted to assess impacts to the wetland and determine if any remedial action or mitigation is necessary.


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 detailed information, can be viewed on the Corps website at


Public comments on this project proposed by the Passumpsic Valley Land Trust, Inc. (File # NAE-2005-2554) should be forwarded no later than April 23, 2015 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Vermont Project Office (ATTN: Marty Abair), 11 Lincoln Street, Room 210, Essex Junction, Vermont 05452. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Marty Abair at 802-872-2893 or by email to                      

Tim Dugan

Release no. 2015-024