Water: Dredged Material Management
Regional Dredging Teams: Elevation Procedures
This guidance by the National Dredging Team (NDT) provides policy and procedural guidance for Regional Dredging Teams (RDTs) and Local Planning Groups (LPGs) on resolution of dredging related issues by the NDT.
As stated in the "The Dredging Process in the United States: An Action Plan for Improvement (U.S. DOT, December 1994)," the NDT and the RDTs are established to promote national and regional consistency on dredging issues and provide a forum for conflict resolution and information exchange early in the process. LPGs, co-chaired by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with port authorities and states, are being established in various ports and harbors on an estuarine-wide basis to develop dredged material management plans. The RDTs and LPGs provide a mechanism for timely resolution of conflicts by involving all agencies, maximizing interagency coordination, and providing a mechanism for stakeholder input on issues. However, when issues cannot be resolved at the local or regional level, they can be raised for policy and procedural guidance. Issues generally being addressed by RDTs and LPGs that could be elevated to the NDT would be related to dredging and disposal policy and procedures, or any other area where mutual agreement among the agencies cannot be reached.
Regional and Local Level:
In general, achieving consensus among the participating agencies, resource agencies, and stakeholders at the regional and local level is encouraged before raising issues to the national level.
- If the issues being addressed by the LPG are not resolved, the issues can be elevated to the RDT.
- If the RDT fails to reach consensus on LPG issues or their own RDT issues, the issues can be elevated to the NDT.
For elevating any issue, information provided by the LPG for the RDT is similar to information provided by the RDT to the NDT.
- A letter requesting RDT assistance should be signed by the co-chairs of the LPG or, if the request is from the RDT for NDT assistance, the letter should be signed by the co-chairs of the RDT and sent to the NDT co-chairs.
- In the letter requesting assistance, the detailed issue with its: (1) relevant background information, (2) nature and magnitude, (3) options/alternatives, (4) desired time line for response, and (5) regional contact person(s) should be stated clearly.
The NDT has two roles: (1) to facilitate communication, coordination, and resolution of dredging issues among the participating federal agencies; and (2) to serve as a forum for promoting the implementation of the National Dredging Policy and the recommendations in the 2003 Action Agenda. The co-chairs of the NDT will disseminate information received from the RDTs prior to a national meeting. A special meeting may be called by the co-chairs to address elevated RDT issue(s). The NDT co-chairs may contact the RDT co-chairs for additional information as needed; the RDT co-chairs may be requested to brief the NDT co-chairs or NDT Steering Committee on the elevated issue(s).
- If a consensus decision cannot be reached by the NDT co-chairs, the issue will be elevated to the NDT Steering Committee.
- The NDT will prepare appropriate analysis of the issue for Steering Committee consideration, including a briefing and options papers, and schedule a Steering Committee meeting to consider the issue.
- The NDT co-chairs will prepare a response letter to the RDT on the recommendation of the NDT or Steering Committee. If more time is needed, one of the co-chairs will verbally contact the regional contact person(s) and provide an estimated timeline for the NDT's recommendation.
- The final letter will be transmitted to the co-chairs of the RDT. If the issue was brought to the RDT from the LPG, the RDT will forward the decision, as appropriate, to the LPG. (1)
As needed, to provide further guidance, recommendations, or coordination on the elevated issues, one of the NDT co-chairs will contact the RDT co-chairs either verbally or in writing.
- U.S. Department of Transportation - Maritime Administration. December 1994. The Dredging Process in the United States: An Action Plan for Improvement. The Interagency Working Group on the Dredging Process.
- National Dredging Team. June 1998. Local Planning Groups & Development of Dredged Material Management Plans - Guidance by the National Dredging Team.
- Department of Army. August 1995. Memorandum on Creation of Regional Interagency Dredging Teams.
- U.S. EPA Office of Water. September 1995. Memorandum on Creation of Regional Interagency Dredging Teams.
(1) The LPG, RDT, and NDT are all informal mechanisms established to promote coordination, communication, understanding, and resolution of issues. It is noted that federal, state, and local government participation in these groups is still guided by applicable regulations and statutes.