St. Johns Riverkeeper: Legal Challenge of Dredging Project Filed
St. Johns Riverkeeper filed a Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief in federal court last week against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) regarding the proposed St. Johns River harbor deepening project.
In April 2015, the Record of Decision was issued approving the USACE’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the JAXPORT proposal to dredge 13 miles of the St. Johns River from a depth of 40-feet to 47-feet, finding the plan to be “economically justified” and “environmentally acceptable,” said Riverkeeper in its release.
“We can’t afford to roll the dice with the future of the St. Johns. Once the damage is done, there is no turning back,” said St. Johns Riverkeeper, Lisa Rinaman.
St. Johns Riverkeeper’s complaint seeks review of the FEIS under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) citing the USACE’s:
- failure to take the required “hard look” at the environmental consequences of dredging;
- failure to provide appropriate in-kind mitigation for the environmental damage that will result from the dredging;
- failure to provide an adequate comprehensive economic analysis to determine the merits of such a massive expenditure of public funds;
- failure to comply with public participation requirements;
- failure to supplement the FEIS when relevant new information or circumstances arose.