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Water: Dredged Material Management

Ocean Dump Site Monitoring

Most of the dredged material disposed in the ocean is disposed at ocean dumping sites specifically designated by EPA for dredged material disposal under section 102 of the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA). The Army Corps of Engineers is required to use such sites for ocean disposal to the extent feasible. EPA´s ocean dumping regulations at 40 C.F.R. Part 228 Exit EPA Disclaimer provide the criteria and procedures for the designation and management of ocean disposal sites, and list the currently designated sites by EPA region.

Appropriate management of ocean dumping sites is aimed at assuring that disposal activities will not unreasonably degrade or endanger human health, welfare, the marine environment or economic potentialities. Management of ocean dredged material disposal sites involves regulating the times, the quantity, and the physical/chemical characteristics of dredged material that is dumped at the site; establishing disposal controls, conditions, and requirements to avoid and minimize potential impacts to the marine environment; and monitoring the site environs to verify that unanticipated or significant adverse effects are not occurring from past or continued use of the disposal site and that permit terms are met.

All ocean dumping sites are required to have a site management and monitoring plan. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers have published a Guidance Document for the Development of Site Management Plans for Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Sites [PDF Version (15 pp, 53K, About PDF)].

EPA´s research vessel, the Ocean Survey Vessel Bold, is used extensively to monitor dredged material disposal sites on the East and Gulf coasts.

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