Dredged Materials Management Decision Making
Process Summary of Suggestions for Improvement
Public Participation Input
Local authorities should host a meeting very
early in the process. Focus should be on understanding the process, schedule,
and what to expect. The Great Lake Dredging Team outreach materials, process
chart and white paper may be used to help everyone understand the process.
Agencies with jurisdiction should be identified and perhaps some type
of partnering agreements drawn up. Cost share possibilities should also
be discussed if applicable. Local management goals for the harbor should
be discussed and incorporated into project development later in the process
Determine Beneficial Use Possibilities
Potential beneficial re-use projects such as
beach nourishment, habitat creation, soil manufacturing, site remediation,
construction fill should be identified early in the process. This would
allow more time to develop ideas, identify barriers, and find collaborators.
Examples of successful beneficial re-use projects should be made available
though outreach materials, invited speakers, or visits to other harbors.
Sediment Testing Plan
It is important that technical staff at the USCOE and local agencies discuss
and agree on an appropriate sediment testing plan based on the Inland
Testing Manual. Professional judgment on where to test, how many samples
to take, what parameters to test, what detection limits to use and how
to statistically analyze the data is still needed. These should be discussed
in advance of the field work. When possible, local field staff may want
to help, serving as local guides.
How to distinguish from "viable"
and "non-viable" can be problematic and confusing. Environmental review
processes require an evaluation of all alternatives considered. At this
point in the process, several steps including an "Initial Screening of
Alternatives" has been completed and possibly could serve this purpose.
It seems rational that the focus should be on the projects that are reasonably
"viable". Fatally flawed project ideas should be eliminated by this point
(or at least identified as such with rationale).