Monday, November 13, 2006

RIDEM to hold 2 Public Hearings on LNG Dredging

RIDEM is holding 2 hearings on the RI component of Weaver Cove's dredging application. Although the RI portion is relatively small, it's still important to attend or write a letter of testimony.

Save The Bay is urging DEM to deny the permit and water quality certification based on the fact that this would be a damaging project and it has the potential to harm critical habitat for winter flounder, river herring, and other key estuarine species. The proposed disposal of all the dredged sediment (3 Million + cubic yards) would be in the Rhode Island sound site, so it would negatively impact RI's resources both during dredging and disposal. The dredged channel, called "improvement" dredging, is actually new deepening which will cause a permanent impact on the bottom of Mount Hope Bay and the Taunton River.

The public notice follows:

News Release: RI Department of Environmental Management235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462

For Release:
November 3, 2006


Gail Mastrati 222-4700 ext. 2402Stephanie Powell 222-4700 ext. 4418


The Department of Environmental Management announces that it will hold public hearings on November 14 in Tiverton and November 20 in Bristol regarding a request from Weaver's Cove Energy LLC of Fall River, MA for a dredge permit and water quality certificate to dredge approximately 140,000 cubic yards of sediment from the state's portion of the existing federal navigation channel in Mount Hope Bay.Under the proposal, the depth of the channel would be deepened from its original 35 feet to 37 feet.

About 40,000 cubic yards of sediment would be removed from depths of up to 35 feet as maintenance dredging. The remaining 100,000 cubic yards, considered "improvement dredging," would deepen the authorized channel by two feet. The proposal would also allow a one-foot depth margin of error because of the nature of the dredging equipment, which could add an additional 90,000 cubic yards of sediment to the total amount dredged.

The hearing on November 14 will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Tiverton High School auditorium, 100 North Brayton Road in Tiverton. The November 20 hearing will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Mount Hope High School auditorium at 199 Chestnut Street in Bristol.

Written comments will be accepted at the hearings and also via mail by November 20 to Ronald Gagnon at DEM's Office of Technical and Customer Assistance, 235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02928.

Questions regarding the public hearings should be directed to Ronald Gagnon at 222-6822 ext. 7500. Documents related to the proposed project can be reviewed at DEM Headquarters in Providence by appointment by calling 222-6822 ext. 7307.

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