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EPA Objects to Dredging Permit Proposals

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  • EPA Objects to Dredging Permit Proposals

    EPA Objects to Dredging Permit Proposals

    Release date: 09/08/2010
    Contact Information: Kris Lancaster, (913) 551-7557,

    Environmental News


    (Kansas City, Kan., Sept. 8, 2010) - EPA has determined that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Draft Environmental Impact Statement presents insufficient scientific information to support dredging permits allowing sand and gravel removal from the Missouri River. The applicant?s proposal would allow the removal of 11,615,000 tons per year of main channel river bottom material.

    EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks said, ?Adequate science is lacking to support issuance of the requested dredging permits. The proposal could contribute to significant riverbed loss in three segments of the river and result in damage to levees and bridges, increased flood risk and environmental damage.?

    Under the National Environmental Policy Act and Clean Air Act, EPA is required to review the environmental impact of federal proposals. The Corps of Engineers will consider EPA?s comments as it prepares a final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The final EIS will contain the Corps? preferred dredging amount.

    Dredging is one of several factors contributing to riverbed degradation. Riverbed degradation can threaten bank stability, erode levee foundations and eliminate adjacent wetlands. Dredging usually occurs in close geographic proximity to locations where the construction need is greatest, such as cities along the Missouri River including Jefferson City, Kansas City, St. Charles and St. Joseph, Mo.

    The removal of sand and gravel from the river channel has been closely associated with the lowering of the riverbed, particularly in segments of the river where dredging is most concentrated. Under a separate federal project, the USACE is working with local partners to fund and perform a feasibility study on solutions to the riverbed loss problem in the lower river and, particularly, the Kansas City reach of the river.

    Active commercial sand and gravel dredging in the lower Missouri River began in the 1930s largely to support construction and road building. Sand and gravel dredging removal has increased from 250,000 tons per year in 1935 to about seven million tons in recent years.

    EPA oversees the protection of water quality as required by the Clean Water Act. The Agency is working with the public, community leaders, local, state and federal agencies to address growing demands on the nation's water resources.

    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela

  • #2
    Re: EPA Objects to Dredging Permit Proposals

    Louisiana sand berms are not stopping much oil from Gulf of Mexico spill, EPA says

    Published: Thursday, September 09, 2010, 8:45 PM


    ...Some Louisiana officials blasted the EPA on Thursday.

    "To be honest, most of these people sit behind a computer; they all have degrees, but none of them have a lick of commonsense," said Grand Isle Mayor David Camardelle.

    Federal agencies have shot down spill-fighting projects championed by some Louisiana officials, including a plan by Camardelle to block some passes with rocks.

    Louisiana officials argue that their proposed projects not only keep oil out of sensitive marshes but also would help build back the badly eroded coastline.

    "They're worried about these islands. In the 1930s and 1940s, all these islands were connected," Camardelle said. "What is wrong with us dredging and building these islands back up and trying to connect these islands?"

    Gregory Stone, the director of Coastal Studies Institute at Louisiana State University's School of the Coast & Environment, said building back Louisiana's coast is a good idea, but that the work has to be done correctly.

    "Anything that would be undertaken to allow for the introduction of sediment onto the beaches and barrier islands is a plus," Stone said. "I'm not opposed from that perspective to the berms."...

    Full text:
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela