As the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans ahead for waterfront dredging projects in Michigan’s Great Southwest and across the nation to keep navigable waters open and safe, they are also opening the door to any agency interested in using the dredged spoils for projects of their own.
The Corps has published today in the Federal Register its request for proposals for “beneficial use of dredged material pilot projects pursuant to Section 1122 of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016,” Beneficial Use of Dredged Material.
That means that communities, contractors, the state, or even public organizations who propose a legitimate, legal, and beneficial use of the dredged materials can submit proposals by the middle of next month in a bid to access those materials.
The Army Crops says that proposals must be submitted to them, USACE, on or before March 12, 2018. More information on the program and solicitation can be found in the Federal Register notice, 83 Fed. Reg. 5763 (Feb. 9, 2018). It is available on line at the link provided below:
Section 1122 requires the Army Corps to establish a pilot program to carry out 10 projects for the beneficial use of dredged material. The pilot program can include projects for the purposes of:
- Reducing storm damage to property and infrastructure;
- Promoting public safety;
- Protecting, restoring and creating aquatic ecosystem habitats;
- Stabilizing stream systems and enhancing shorelines;
- Promoting recreation;
- Supporting risk management adaptation strategies; and
- Reducing the costs of dredging and dredged material placement or disposal, such as projects that use dredged material for:
- Construction or fill material;
- Civic improvement objectives; and,
- Other innovative uses and placement alternatives that produce public economic or environmental benefits.
Projects identified under Section 1122 must maximize the beneficial placement of dredged material from federal and non-federal navigation channels and ensure that the use of dredged material is consistent with all applicable environmental laws. The Corps is required to carry out the pilot program in consultation with relevant state agencies and to establish regional teams to assist in the evaluation of the proposals.
USACE implementation guidance (including selection criteria) for carrying out the provisions of Section 1122 and information on submitting a proposal can be found at http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Project-Planning/Legislative-Links/wrda2016/wrda2016_impguide/.
The ASA(CW) is required to submit a report to the Congress within two years that includes:
- A description of the projects selected under the pilot program;
- Documentation supporting each of the projects selected;
- The findings of regional beneficial use teams regarding project selection; and
- Any recommendations of the ASA(CW) or regional beneficial use teams with respect to the pilot program.
The program is designed to terminate after completion of the 10 beneficial use pilot projects.