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EIS on Grays Harbor dredging up for review and comment

July 7, 2014

The EIS statement to dredge Grays Harbor an additional 2 feet is now ready for review and comment.

A supplemental EIS on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Grays Harbor Navigation Improvement Project is available for review and comment from July 11-Aug. 11.

The Corps has produced a limited reevaluation report and supplemental EIS following public comment and their General Investigation into dredging the channel to its legislatively authorized depth of -38 feet.

According to project lead Josh Jackson, he told KXRO in March that this would allow more opportunity for vessel traffic at the Port of Grays Harbor. This project is not to facilitate new commodities or vessels; only allowing for more traffic as the Port continues to grow.

According to a draft supplemental environmental impact statement, the purpose of the dredging would be to “reduce navigation transportation costs for the existing and projected future traffic” of the Port. The need they say is to open up opportunities. At -36”, and the navigational windows, deep draft vessels coming in have to be partially loaded or experience tidal delays due to the insufficient depth.

Colonel Bruce Estok told KXRO that the possibilities of crude by rail are factored in, although a separate draft shows little change in the overall benefit of the dredging if crude does not come to Grays Harbor.

The Corps maintains the waterway now by dredging the channel annually at an average cost of $9 million, removing an average annual volume of about 1.7 million cubic yards of material.

The reevaluation report, supplemental EIS and more are available to review on line through Seattle District’s main website:http://www.nws.usace.army.mil by clicking on “Environmental Documents” under the “Open Public Comment Period” column. The documents are also accessible on the Grays Harbor Navigation Improvement page at: http://1.usa.gov/MS6jUw

The Corps is accepting public comments on the limited reevaluation report and supplemental EIS for a 30-day period beginning July 11 and ending Aug. 11. Comments can be sent via email to: GraysHarborComments@usace.army.mil or through the mail to Leah Wickstrom, CENWS-PM-CP, PO Box 3755, Seattle, WA 98124-3755.

dredging

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