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EPA's Region 6 Office

Serving: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and 66 Tribal Nations

Dredged Material Ocean Disposal Permit Process

Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA) Section 103 permits for the ocean dumping of dredged materials are issued by the Corps of Engineers (COE) subject to EPA approval. The COE District office, New Orleans District office or the COE Galveston District office exit EPA disclaimer is responsible for coordination of all federal actions, including EPA concurrences, pertaining to MPRSA Section 103 applications.

All applications should be coordinated with EPA Region 6. Applicants are encouraged to arrange for a pre-application conference with the District and EPA in order to fully understand the process and requirements for obtaining the permit. EPA will not approve the permit unless the proposed dredged material has been shown to meet the ocean dumping criteria. Data requirements for ensuring this compliance can be extensive and the permitting process typically takes from 6 to 18 months.

The permit process is outlined below and consists of 10 main steps:

Pre-application Consultation:

Includes discussion of alternatives and the information required for use in evaluating the proposed dredged material.

Evaluation of Dredged Material Proposed for Ocean Disposal:

Includes development, approval and implementation of a sampling and analysis plan and an assessment of compliance with the ocean dumping criteria.

Permit Application:

Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations Part 325.1 exit EPA disclaimer (33 CFR 325.1) describes the requirements of the permit application. In addition, the application should include:

a. An evaluation of dredged material disposal alternatives including an examination of potential beneficial uses of the proposed dredged material.

b. Written documentation of the site dredging history and a general survey of other prior or current dredging activities at or near the site.

c. References to existing or prior MPRSA Section 103 permits.

Review of Application for Completeness:

Additional information is requested if the application is incomplete.

Issuance of Public Notice by District:

Public Notices must include all of the information required in 33 CFR 325.3(a) (pdf, 205.92KB,46 pp.)exit EPA disclaimer

EPA Review:

EPA has 45 days with an optional additional 45 day extension to review the information and to determine compliance with the ocean dumping criteria. If additional information is needed, EPA has 30 days to request that information.

District Engineer Completes Evaluation:

The COE addresses comments and holds a public meeting if needed.

Public Interest Review:

The COE considers all comments and incorporate them into the administrative record of the application.

Permit Issued:

A decision to issue or deny a permit is discussed in either a Statement of Findings or Record of Decision and the permit is issued.

Permit Public Notice:

A list of permit decisions is published.

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