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Port dredging & the Army Corps of Engineers: 5 ways to expedite your approval

Updated: Jun 5, 2020

D&A associates offer

D&A colleagues offer recommendations for expediting Corps approvals of port and channel dredging.

Port and channel dredging requires approval from the Army Corps of Engineers. But approvals are often delayed due to lack of planning for material disposal.  Writing in the spring 2016 Seaports, published by the American Association of Port Authorities, our colleagues Brig. Gen. (Ret) Rick Capka, Linda Morrison and Elizabeth Fagot offer 5 recommendations for expediting Corps approvals.

The key issue, they explain, is that ports are running out of commercially available dredge disposal options.  This increasingly requires the use of Federal/ Port Placement Sites. Port and terminal users are competing with each other for scarce disposal sites, a competition that has become more acute due to the increased need for disposal capacity resulting from deepening federal navigation channels to accommodate post-Panamax ships.

To read the full article, click here.  An excerpt:

Contaminated material will need special attention and permitting. The process to secure placement site approval is extensive and technical. Many projects face delays due to lack of a current survey of proposed dredge areas, incorrect cross-sections of proposed dredge areas and no estimate of the maximum dredge depth needed.

Other issues: Which available disposal sites have capacity and can be used based on the material you are dredging?  Have you identified all the potential disposal sites that could be used so that if one becomes available at a later point, you already have Corps approval?  And are you able to link up with an existing dredging contractor operating in the area?

Before joining the Dawson team, all three authors had exemplary careers in the Army Corps of Engineers.  Rick commanded the Corps of Engineers Baltimore District, South Atlantic and South Pacific Divisions. Linda was Chief of Operations, Savannah District. Liz was the Corps’ Assistant Chief Counsel for Real Estate.

Maj. Gen. Don Riley Senior Vice President


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