EPA Releases Final Rule on Long Island Disposal Sites

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a Final Rule establishing new restrictions on the use of the Central and Western Long Island Sound Dredged Material Disposal Sites.

The Final Rule amends the 2005 site designation rule with new restrictions on the use of the two sites to help meet the goal of reducing or eliminating dredged material disposal in the open waters of Long Island Sound.

The Final Rule sets standards and procedures to promote the development and use of practicable alternatives to open-water disposal.

One proposed procedure is to establish a standing, interagency “Steering Committee” and “Regional Dredging Team” for Long Island Sound. These groups will be comprised of federal and state agency representatives that will work together to identify, develop, and promote the use of practicable alternatives to open-water disposal of dredged material, such as using sand for beach nourishment. They also will review dredging projects and offer recommendations to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding how the dredged material from such projects should be handled.

The designation of dredged material disposal sites by EPA only makes those sites available for potential use by future dredging projects; it does not actually authorize disposal of any material at the site.

Any proposal to place dredged material at either the Central or Western Long Island Sound Dredged Material Disposal Site would still have to obtain a project-specific authorization and satisfy the stringent requirements of the ocean disposal regulations.

 

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