USA: DEP Disappointed over Delaware River Dredging Decision

The Christie Administration has expressed disappointment in a federal appeals court ruling upholding the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ project to deepen the Delaware River’s shipping channel from the mouth of the bay to Camden.

“Governor Christie and I have remained steadfast in our position that the Army Corps of Engineers must be compelled to openly and thoroughly assess the impacts that deepening the shipping channel would have on the ecology of the river, including impacts to South Jersey’s ecologically sensitive wetlands,Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin said. “The Administration will review its options.”

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia released its ruling rejecting New Jersey’s demand for new studies necessary to protect the environment.

The project proposed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will result in millions of tons of sediments being dumped in confined disposal facilities along ecological sensitive creeks and wetlands in Gloucester and Salem counties. DEP testing shows sediments contain elevated levels of PCBs, metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other contaminants.

In proposing the project, the Army Corps relied on limited and outdated data, largely of sediment samples taken from routine maintenance dredging, and did not adequately sample sediments from channel bends and side banks, areas that are likely to be the most contaminated.


Dredging Today Staff, July 5, 2012