Congressman Joe Courtney yesterday made the following statement after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) completed a final Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP) and Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for Long Island Sound.
“I am pleased that the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers was able to build on cost-effective and environmentally sound options for disposing of dredged material from our waterways in the final DMMP,” said Courtney.
“Economic activities that utilize Long Island Sound waterways contribute more than $9 billion annually in economic output and maintaining navigable shipping channels is critical to the long-term health of our regional economy. The livelihoods of thousands directly depend on this comprehensive dredging plan,” added Courtney.
The Governors of Connecticut and New York first requested the DMMP from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2005. The report details environmentally sound placement options for dredged material from all 52 Federal Navigation Projects in the Long Island Sound region, including beach replenishment, wetlands restoration and shoreline flood mitigation infrastructure.
The draft DMMP and PEIS were first released on August 17, 2015 and subject to a 60-day public comment period. During that time, the Corps received over 1,800 comments, including letters in support of the DMMP from the U.S. Navy and Electric Boat.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will now begin a new environmental impact study and rulemaking process to replace the New London and Cornfield Shoals disposal sites in eastern Long Island Sound.
Any regulations implemented by the EPA will follow the recommendations and restrictions established in the DMMP to reduce overall open water disposal.