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U.S. EPA seeks comments for proposed Guam ocean disposal area draft environmental impact statement

Release Date: 08/07/2009
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

Site to be off Apra Harbor for dredged materials, public meeting on August 20

(08/07/09) HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking comments to the draft environmental impact statement for a proposed ocean disposal site for dredged materials off Apra Harbor, Guam.

The draft EIS presents a detailed evaluation for designating a permanent ocean dredged material disposal site. An ocean dredged material disposal site provides an additional management option for clean sediments because existing land disposal sites are limited in capacity for future use.

“Dredging is essential for maintaining safe navigation at port and naval facilities in Apra Harbor and other locations around Guam,” said Alexis Strauss, water division director for the EPA Pacific Southwest Region. “The draft EIS identified a preferred location for an ocean dredged material disposal site, public review and input on the proposed locations is an important consideration when making the final site designation.”

There are two alternative locations for a permanent site. The proposed North site is around 13.7 nautical miles offshore of outer Apra Harbor, and in water depths ranging from 6,560 and 7,710 feet. The proposed Northwest location is approximately 11.1 nautical miles offshore of outer Apra Harbor, and in water depths ranging from 8,200 and 9,055 feet. There would be a maximum annual disposal limit of 1,000,000 cubic yards of dredged material for whichever site is chosen.

No actual disposal operations are authorized by a designation of a deep ocean site.Disposal of dredged material can only take place after a U.S. Army Corps permit is secured. Before ocean disposal may take place, dredging projects must demonstrate a need for ocean disposal and the proposed dredged material must meet the EPA’s ocean disposal criteria. Alternatives to ocean disposal, including the option for beneficial re-use of dredged material, will be evaluated for each dredging project.

The proposed site will be monitored periodically to ensure that the site operates as expected based on the EPA’s ocean site designation criteria. Field studies, modeling of sediment dispersion following dredged material disposal under various scenarios, constrained areas, and economic considerations are included in the evaluation.

The EPA is accepting written comments on the draft EIS from federal, state, and local governments, industry, non-governmental organizations, and the general public. Comments will be accepted for 60 days, beginning on August 6. A public meeting is scheduled at the following location and date: August 20, 2009 6:00-8:00 pm, at the Weston Resort Guam, 105 Gun Beach Road, Tumon, Guam.

This meeting will consist of two parts – the first being an informational session, and the second a public hearing where the public may comment on the DEIS. Comments presented at the public hearing will be recorded and responded to in the Final EIS.



The Draft EIS can be reviewed at the following locations:

1. Guam EPA’s Main Office, 17-3304 Mariner Avenue, Tiyan, Guam 96913
2. Nieves M. Flores Memorial Public Library, 254 Martyr Street, Hagatna, Guam 96910
3. Barrigada Public Library, 177 San Roque Drive, Barrigada, Guam 96913
4. Dededo Public Library, 283 West Santa Barbara Avenue, Dededo, Guam 96929
5. Maria R. Aguigui Memorial Library (Agat Public Library), 376 Cruz Avenue, Guam 96915
6. Rosa Aguigui Reyes Memorial Library (Merizo Public Library), 376 Cruz Avenue, Merizo, Guam 96915
7. Yona Public Library, 265 Sister Mary Eucharita Drive, Yona, Guam 96915
8. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Library, 75 Hawthorne Street, 13th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105
9. U.S. EPA website: http://www.epa.gov/region9/
10. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ website: http://www.poh.usace.army.mil

For further information and to submit comments, please contact: Mr. Allan Ota, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9, Dredging and Sediment Management Team (WTR-8), 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, California 94105-3901, Telephone: (415) 972-3476 or FAX: (415) 947-3537 or E-mail: ota.allan@epa.gov.

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