Dredging in the Lower Kennebec
The Kennebec Estuary Land Trust is collaborating with the Phippsburg Land Trust, Friends of Merrymeeting Bay, Phippsburg Shellfish Committee, business owners and local fishermen to oppose a summer dredging project in the Lower Kennebec that we feel would have significant negative environmental impact.
View of Fort Popham and the Atkins Bay shellfish flats from the summit of Cox’s Head. These flats are among the most productive shellfish flats in Phippsburg. photo: B. Cummings
The requests that the group made to Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) include:
- A full Environmental Impact Statement especially impacts to aquatic life.
- Adherence to the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Maine Natural Resources Protection Act (NRPA) requiring that water quality standards not be violated when dredging is performed
- If deemed absolutely necessary, the dredging should be done using best practices to reduce turbidity, siltation and re-deposition of materials.
- Alternate disposal methods: Dispose of the material upland in locations that would benefit from the material.
- Avoid over-dredging: Doubling Point and Popham Beach are active areas that re-shoal rapidly, the data doesn’t show it extends the overall time between dredges.
- Improve the Environmental Assessment by the ACE to include the BIW dredging and disposal information, because that is part of the cumulative impacts.
For more information on the issue and local opposition follow these links:
Public Responses to ACOE Proposal for Dredging Permit:
KELT public response
PLT public response
FOMB DEP Comments Kennebec Dredge Spoils 3-19-11
FOMB USACE Comments Kennebec Dredge Spoils 3-26-11
DEP comments from Phps. Shellfish Cmt
Phippsburg Commenters re Kennebec Dredging
L. Sewall public response
D. Kelly Public Comments
D. Kelly Appendix 1 – Final ACE Permit appl NRPA and WQC
D. Kelly Appendix 2 – Draft Updated Table 1
A public was held on April 26, 2011 on proposed reclassification of the Lower Kennebec from Class SA to Class SB waters. There was significant local opposition to this proposal. Public testimony was made by Phippsburg Conservation Commission, The Phippsburg Land Trust, Phippsburg Shellfish Committee, Friends of Merrymeeting Bay, Natural Resources Council of Maine, Dot Kelly, Laura Sewall on behalf of Bates Morse Mountain and Dean Doyle.
MBPN story by Susan Sharon 4.7.11
Times Record 4.11.11 “Opposition to August dredging project grows”
Times Record 5.6.11 “Kennebec dredging prompts renewed river classification questions”
Plan to Dredge Kennebec to Make Way for BIW Ship Stirs up Opposition 05/19/2011 Reported By: Susan Sharon
6.7.11 Portland Press Herald
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