The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District, last Friday, April 15th 2016, took local residents for a tour of the Pearce Creek Dredged Material Containment Field (DMCF) in Earleville, MD.
Although progress with the installation of the impermeable liner at the Pearce Creek DMCF has been slow, project engineer Gavin Kaiser led residents from Bay View Estates, West View Shores, and Sunset Pointe for the tour of the site.
Heavy rainfall in February made it difficult for the Corps contractors (Sealaska) to prepare more than 250-acre dredge spoil disposal site for placement of a synthetic liner that will prevent the leaching of natural contaminants into local groundwater. “Soggy ground made compaction of soil difficult, but warmer weather has speeded up efforts,” said Gavin Kaiser.
According to the officials, placing the 10 sections of Hallaton geo-membrane synthetic liner will be followed with a foot of soil over the top, hiding its presence from view and protecting its integrity.
The Pearce Creek DMCA is located in Cecil County, on the eastern bank of the Chesapeake Bay near the confluence of the Elk River and the Chesapeake Bay. The USACE acquired 996 acres of Pearce Creek DMCA property in 1937 when the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal (C&D Canal) was deepened.
Dredge material was placed in the field in 1937 and 1938, and then again beginning in the 1960s, until the last placement in 1993. It is estimated that 4.0 million cubic yards (mcy) of dredged material have been placed at the site.
The site was closed back in 2015 due to safety liabilities and the Corps started work on the placement of a synthetic liner on the property that will prevent leaching of contaminants into local water tables.