The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and five Lower Columbia River ports are beginning the public scoping process to prepare an integrated environmental impact statement and long-term maintenance plan for the Lower Columbia River Federal Navigation Channel.
According to the Corps,, the Plan will ensure the channel, extending upstream from the Mouth of Columbia River to Vancouver, Wash., is maintained and operational at its federally authorized 43-foot depth for another 20 years.
The Washington ports of Longview, Kalama, Woodland, Vancouver and the Port of Portland in Oregon are the non-federal sponsors of the Plan.
“The Corps and the Ports, with input from stakeholders, agencies and the public, will determine the best management plan for placing dredged material and evaluate ways to reduce the need for dredging. The planning effort will consider effects of channel maintenance on Lower Columbia River environmental and socioeconomic resources,” reported USACE.
“The Port of Portland, along with other Columbia River ports, depends on maintenance dredging to support our trade gateway. Maintaining the river channel at its authorized depth and width is essential to sustaining the billions of dollars of commerce that flow through the Columbia River,” states Curtis Robinhold, Port of Portland Executive Director.
Vessels using the full channel depth carried about 11 million tons of export shipments worth nearly $3 billion in 2015.