EPA wants your feedback on dredging site
by Mindy Aguon
Guam - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants to hear from island residents about the proposed designation of the Guam deep ocean disposal site for dredging material from the Port and Navy. Because the territory does not have an ocean disposal site, material and sediments from dredging projects must be disposed of on land.
The proposal is part of the USEPA's Final Environmental Impact Statement that details how the agency identified a deep ocean site 11 nautical miles northwest of outer Apra Harbor and in water depths of between 8,200-9,500 feet. The agency noted that there would be a maximum annual disposal limit of 1,000,000 cubic yards of dredged material at the site.
The latest review by the federal government comes after the agency received public comments on the Draft EIS last October.
According to a release from the USEPA, a strict testing standard would be applied for any dredging material to be disposed of at the proposed site. USEPA Pacific Southwest Region Associate Director of Water Programs Nancy Woo said, "Guam will have a complete toolbox for managing sediment from dredging projects. We expect dredgers to find beneficial ways to reuse sediment whenever they can, but that isn't always possible."
To view the proposed rule, visit EPA.gov or visit Guam's public libraries.
The USEPA recently gave an environmentally unsatisfactory rating to the Draft EIS and noted significant concerns not only with the dredging material expected to come from dredging at Apra Harbor for an aircraft carrier berthing facility, but on other issues that the buildup will have on Guam's environment.