Saturday, March 16, 2013
LEWISTON — Two additional opportunities have opened to comment on a proposed dredging project in the lower Snake River.
According to a release from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the proposed dredging would be a short-term solution to restore the river’s navigation channel to its authorized dimensions.
The dredging would be at three locations in the Lower Granite Dam reservoir and at one site just downstream of Ice Harbor Dam in the McNary Dam reservoir.
The dredged materials would be disposed of in the river just upstream of Knoxway Canyon and 23 miles downstream of Clarkston.
If authorized, the work would occur during a winter “in-water work window” from Dec. 15 to March 1. According to the Corps, maintenance dredging has not been performed in the river since the winter of 2005-2006.
The first additional comment period is to satisfy provisions of the federal Clean Water Act regarding the proposed immediate need for action, plus in-water disposal of dredged materials.
The second period is for comments to the Washington state Department of Ecology on a request by the Corps that Ecology certify that the discharges of dredged material will not violate existing state water quality standards.
The deadline for submitting comments on both issues is April 11.
Comments will also continue to be accepted through March 26 for the draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Corps’ Lower Snake River Programmatic Sediment Management Plan.