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Courtney Statement on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Final Dredging Materials Management Plan for Long Island Sound

January 12, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-2), made the following statement after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) completed a final Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP) and Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for Long Island Sound:

“I am pleased that the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers was able to build on cost-effective and environmentally sound options for disposing of dredged material from our waterways in the final DMMP,” said Courtney. “Economic activities that utilize Long Island Sound waterways contribute more than $9 billion annually in economic output and maintaining navigable shipping channels is critical to the long-term health of our regional economy. From family-owned marinas to the SUBASE New London, the livelihoods of thousands of my constituents directly depend on this comprehensive dredging plan. I am particularly happy that the DMMP underscores the need for a strong partnership among the Regional Dredging Team members and recommends new involvement by the U.S. Navy and newly-formed Connecticut Port Authority.”

The Governors of Connecticut and New York first requested the DMMP from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2005. The report details environmentally sound placement options for dredged material from all 52 Federal Navigation Projects in the Long Island Sound region, including beach replenishment, wetlands restoration, and shoreline flood mitigation infrastructure.

The draft DMMP and PEIS were first released on August 17, 2015 and subject to a 60-day public comment period. During that time, the Army Corps received over 1,800 comments, including letters in support of the DMMP from the U.S. Navy and Electric Boat. Congressman Courtney also led the Connecticut Congressional Delegation in a letter backing the plan.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will now begin a new environmental impact study and rulemaking process to replace the New London and Cornfield Shoals disposal sites in eastern Long Island Sound. Any regulations implemented by the EPA will follow the recommendations and restrictions established in the DMMP to reduce overall open water disposal.

For additional information on the DMMP from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, click here

To read the letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from the Connecticut Congressional delegation, click here

To read the letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from Groton sub base commander Captain Carl Lahti, click here

To read the letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from Electric Boat President Jeffrey Geiger, click here