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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 16-162


Federal Consistency under the Coastal Zone Management Act; Maintenance Dredging at Erie Harbor

[46 Pa.B. 625]
[Saturday, January 30, 2016]

 This notice is published under section 306(d)(14) of the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C.A. § 1455(d)(14)), regarding public participation during consistency determinations. The Department of Environmental Protection (Department), Coastal Resources Management Program has received notice that the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Buffalo District is proposing maintenance dredging activities at Erie Harbor to be performed during the period between June 15, 2016, and September 15, 2016.

 The USACE—Buffalo District anticipates the need to dredge and discharge material excavated from the Federal navigation channels of Erie Harbor to maintain sufficient depth for deep-draft commercial vessels. Federal navigation channels associated with the project at Erie Harbor include the Entrance Channel, Harbor Basin, Approach Area and two Harbor Areas. Sediments would be removed from the channel bottom by a mechanical orhydraulic dredge and placed into hoppers aboard ship or scow for transport to the designated dredged material discharge area. The method of excavation would be determined by the contractor performing the maintenance dredging. In previous years, hopper and clamshell bucket dredges have been used to complete the required work.

 An estimated total of approximately 300,000 cubic yards of material would be dredged and discharged during this dredging cycle from Erie Harbor Federal navigation channels. The majority of the materials are expected to be dredged from the Entrance Channel, Harbor Basin and Approach Area portions of the harbor. The two Harbor Areas may be dredged as well if needed, as funding allows. The material to be dredged from Erie Harbor consists primarily of silts and clays, with some fine sands. The quality of the material has been evaluated using 2003, 2009 and 2015 sediment data in accordance with the protocols and guidelines contained in the United States Environmental Protection Agency/USACE 1998 Great Lakes Dredged Material Testing and Evaluation Manual. This evaluation concluded that sediments in Erie Harbor Federal navigation channels are toxicologically comparable to sediments at open-lake reference and discharge areas in Lake Erie. Therefore, material dredged from Erie Harbor meets Federal guidelines for open-lake placement. Consequently, the dredged material would be placed at the existing authorized 1-mile square open-lake discharge area in Lake Erie. The discharge site is located 3 1/3 miles from the Erie Harbor Pier-head light at an azimuth of 009°00`.

 This project is subject to Department review for Federal consistency because it is a Federal agency activity and will have reasonably foreseeable effects on this Commonwealth's coastal resources or uses. In accordance with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) regulations in 15 CFR Part 930, Subpart C (relating to consistency for Federal agency activities), the USACE has determined that the proposed activity will be conducted in a manner consistent with the applicable enforceable policies of the Commonwealth's NOAA-approved Coastal Resources Management Program. Interested parties may request a copy of the Federal Consistency Determination from the following Department contact.

 Questions regarding this review should be directed to Matthew Walderon, Federal Consistency Coordinator, (717) 772-2196,

 The Department will consider all comments received through February 13, 2016, before issuing a final Federal consistency concurrence or objection. Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted. Comments, including comments submitted by e-mail, must include the originator's name and address. Commentators are encouraged to submit comments using the Department's online eComment system at Written comments may be submitted to the Department of Environmental Protection, Interstate Waters Office, 400 Market Street, P. O. Box 8465, Harrisburg, PA 17101-8465,


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 16-162. Filed for public inspection January 29, 2016, 9:00 a.m.]

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