Commissioner Robert Klee of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, few days ago offered the following comment on release of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Final Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP) and Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for Long Island Sound.
“Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) supports the recommendations for the management of dredged materials that are contained in the United States Army Corps of Engineers Final Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP).”
According to Commissioner Klee, the plan identifies a range of environmentally sound alternatives for the handling of materials created by dredging projects – including beneficial uses such as beach nourishment and marsh restoration, as well as continued use of open water sites in Long Island Sound.
“Our ability to conduct dredging in coastal waterways is critical to sustaining Connecticut’s water-dependent economy and the practical, cost-effective, and environmentally acceptable management alternatives offered by the Army Corps will help meet the needs of our ports and harbors,” said Commissioner Klee.
“Where feasible, dredged materials are put to beneficial reuse and that will continue to be a top priority as we work toward the goal of reducing open water disposal. Much of the sediment taken from Connecticut waterways is fine-grained, however, and since reuse alternatives often are not feasible existing open water sites must remain available for the foreseeable future,” he added.
Thirty-five years of monitoring and active management of open water disposal sites in Long Island Sound have shown this option to be an environmentally sound and cost effective sediment management alternative.