Dredging America's Waterways and Harbors:

More Information on Environmental and Economic Issues

CED-77-74: Published: Jun 28, 1977. Publicly Released: Jun 28, 1977.

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The effects that dredging and disposing of dredged material will have on the environment have come into sharper focus within the last decade. As a result, the Army Corps of Engineers has been required by legislation, litigation, and regulations to modify its practices.

The Corps has undertaken a research program and changed its dredging practices at certain locations, but at much higher costs. The research is still incomplete, and the cause-and-effect relationships between materials considered contaminated and significant damage, especially long-term damage, have not been determined. Before appropriating funds for channel maintenance projects, the Congress needs adequate information on the tradeoffs between economic and environmental values.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: The Corps should advise the Congress of how a followup research program can be expedited to develop and obtain information not provided by the original program. Even though the current program is almost complete, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should participate in the final stages of the program by assigning staff to work full time with the Corps' researchers in interpreting research results and developing final conclusions for the program. EPA should participate fully in any followup program from the beginning. The Corps, in coordination with EPA, should prepare and provide appropriate information to the Congress when EPA objects to methods or location of the Corps' disposal activities.

 

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