The Passumpsic Valley Land Trust, Inc. (PVLT) 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.