Public meeting planned for Grays Harbor Navigation Improvement draft

A public meeting about the US Army Corps of Engineers Grays Harbor Navigation Improvement Project draft limited reevaluation report including a draft supplemental Environmental Impact Statement begins at 6.30pm, February 27 at the Rotary Log Pavilion in Aberdeen, Wash.
The meeting will focus on the Corps’ reevaluation report and draft supplemental EIS resulting from a General Investigation of dredging the federal navigation channel to its legislatively authorized depth of -38 feet. Army Corps officials will begin the meeting with an open house followed by a presentation and an opportunity to comment on the Corps’ report.
The draft reevaluation report, draft supplemental EIS and appendices are available to review on line at: http://1.usa.gov/MS6jUw or through Seattle District’s main website: http://www.nws.usace.army.mil by clicking on “Grays Harbor Navigation” under the “Most Requested” column.
The Corps is accepting public comments on the draft limited reevaluation report and supplemental EIS for a 45-day period beginning Feb. 7 and ending March 24. Comments will be accepted at the meeting via comment card or other written format and orally. Comments can also be sent via email to: [email protected] or through the mail to Josh Jackson, CENWS-PM-CP, PO Box 3755, Seattle, WA 98124-3755.

Feb 27 Information Meeting Time:
6:30- 7 p.m. Questions and Answers at Open House
7 – 7:30 p.m. Presentation from Corps of Engineers representatives
7:30-8:15 p.m. Public comment period
8:15-8:30 p.m. Questions and Answers at Open House

Information Meeting Location: Aberdeen Rotary Log Pavilion, 1401 Sargent Blvd., Aberdeen, Wash.
Background: The Grays Harbor federal navigation deep draft channel is 250 feet wide at Cosmopolis, increasing to 1,000 feet over the Bar at the mouth of Grays Harbor. The currently maintained channel depth is -36 feet Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) from the South Reach to the Cow Point Reach, where Port of Grays Harbor Terminal 4 is located. The channel then decreases to -32 feet MLLW through Cosmopolis.
The Corps investigated the feasibility of dredging the channel from the South Reach upstream to Cow Point to its fully legislatively authorized depth of -38 feet MLLW. This project covers approximately 14.5 miles of the 27.5 mile channel. Deepening of the relevant portion of the Grays Harbor navigation channel to -38 feet MLLW was authorized by Congress in 1986, but a 1989 economic evaluation found that dredging only to -36 feet MLLW was economically justified at that time. Through updated economic and environmental analysis the present study has evaluated implementing the previously authorized -38-foot depth through a Limited Reevaluation Report and a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), building on the original 1982 EIS and its 1989 Supplement.
The potential two-foot deepening being evaluated is neither designed nor intended to facilitate access for any new vessel classes or commodity types that could not currently utilize Port facilities.
The Corps maintains the waterway now by dredging the deep draft channel annually at an average cost of $9 million, removing an average annual volume of about 1.7 million cubic yards of material.

For additional information about Grays Harbor Navigation visit our website at: http://www.nws.usace.army.mil
and click on “Grays Harbor Navigation” under “Most Requested.”

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