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 U.S. in
conjunction with modifications to a previous permit to dredge and dispose of
material as beach nourishment in Chatham, Mass.
The town of Chatham has applied for permit
modification to a previous permit which was issued to the town on Jan. 31,
2014. The modifications would allow expansion of the town’s dredging and
disposal program into other areas that have become a priority since approval of
the original project. The original permit combined seven town dredging projects
and 17 disposal sites into a town-wide dredging permit for better management of
the projects. The town of Chatham is now seeking to incorporate additional
sites into the town-wide permits as follows:
Two new dredging sites are proposed. A large
new zone of dredging (improvement dredging) is proposed in Pleasant Bay.
Shoaling within Pleasant Bay has been an ongoing concern and the town is
proposing to incorporate improvement dredging within a new large “zone of
potential dredging” located in Pleasant Bay between Minister’s Point and Strong
Island. A small maintenance dredging project has been added at Mitchell River.
Four additional beach nourishment disposal
sites are proposed: Scatteree Landing – expansion of existing approved beach
nourishment area from 18,320 square feet to 80,995 square feet for the Pleasant
Bay dredging material; Linnell Lane – for disposal of dredged material from
town dredging projects and additional capacity for the Pleasant Bay dredging;
Nearshore – an additional nearshore disposal site just outside the northern
inlet for mechanical dredging in proximity to potential dredging locations and
to provide an alternative site for hopper dredging operations if existing
nearshore sites become infeasible to access due to ongoing changes in the beach
and inlet morphology of the old inlet system; and Pleasant Street (Private
Beach) – for disposal of dredged material from town dredging projects.
Dredging would be performed by both mechanical
and hydraulic means. The purpose of this permit review is to bring all of the
town’s dredging and disposal activities under on comprehensive permit. This
will give the town the flexibility to dredge and nourish the highest priority
areas and allow for effective and efficient use of town resources. The permit
would be valid for 10 years.
The dredging portion of this project
will impact approximately 550 acres and the beach nourishment portion will
impact approximately 331 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 the final permit decision.
public notice, with more specifics on the work proposed by the town of Chatham,
can be viewed on the Corps website at www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx.
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.
Public comments on this work proposed by the town
of Chatham (file # NAE-2011-488) should be forwarded no later than May 19, 2016
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: email@example.com.