Inland site identified for maintenance dredge materials

By Jordan Bailey | Jul 14, 2017
Photo by: Jordan Bailey with Project LightHawk A view of the cargo terminal at Mack Point in Searsport.

Searsport — The Maine Department of Transportation has identified an inland site to deposit material from the planned maintenance dredging of Searsport Harbor by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Army Corps spokesman Timothy Dugan said the dredging will remove about 40,000 cubic yards of material to maintain the channel depth of 35 feet below "mean lower low water."

"This is the average of the lower low water height of each tidal day observed over the National Tidal Datum Epoch," Dugan explained.

Two feet of overdredge is allowed, he said, which could bring the channel depth to 37 feet.

The Army Corps will be sampling and testing the mud at the dredging site this summer and results of those tests will be available in the fall, he said. The sample cores will be taken to a depth of between 35 and 37 feet below the mean lower low water level. Once the results are obtained, an environmental assessment will be completed to determine if the materials are suitable for disposal at the DOT’s identified site.

The DOT did not respond to questions about the location of the deposit site.

Because the president’s proposed federal budget does not include funding for the project, Dugan said, it is uncertain when dredging will begin.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to incorporate new comments from Timothy Dugan, and to correct his name.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Patricia Keyes | Jul 15, 2017 09:25

The important thing is that they don't dump it in the bay near Islesboro, where they planned to dump for the sake of expense a couple of years ago. They weren't honest about the impact of dislodged pollution created during dredging the Belfast Harbor a few years ago. The Holtrachem poisons still in the bottom of the bay can be remediated by ground bacteria on land, but we don't want our fish swimming in that stuff! Everyone keep them accountable!

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Jordan M Bailey
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Jordan Bailey has been working for The Republican Journal since 2013. She studied philosophy at Boston College and has experience in marine science education and journalism. She lives in Belfast.


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