Dredged Material Management in Long Island Sound

Map of the dredged material disposal sites in Long Island SoundThere are currently four ocean dredged material disposal sites in Long Island Sound, all located in Connecticut territorial waters and spread from west to east at roughly equal distances: Western Long Island Sound, Central Long Island Sound, Cornfield Shoals and New London. EPA designated the Western and Central Long Island Sound ocean disposal sites under the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA) for long-term use on June 5, 2005. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) selected the Cornfield Shoals and New London ocean disposal sites under Section 103 of the MPRSA for short-term use and those sites are scheduled to close on December 23, 2016. A proposed rule for the designation of the Eastern Long Island Sound Dredged Material Disposal Site (ELDS) was released by EPA on April 27, 2016. EPA and USACE share management and monitoring responsibilities for the disposal sites. With EPA support, the USACE conducts the majority of the monitoring through its longstanding Disposal Area Monitoring System (DAMOS), and provides technical reports on the results of those efforts, which can be found on the USACE website Exit.

On this page:

Central and Western Long Island Sound Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Sites

In April 2004, EPA and USACE published an environmental impact statement (EIS) recommending designation of the Central and Western Long Island Sound ocean disposal sites under MPRSA section 102. EPA received almost 3,000 written comments on the EIS, mostly from elected officials and citizens from Long Island opposing the proposed action. The New York Coastal Management Program also objected to EPA’s federal consistency determination under the Coastal Zone Management Act, which had concluded that the designation of the two ocean disposal sites was consistent with the State’s coastal program enforceable policies.

On June 5, 2005, EPA published a rule designating the Central and Western Long Island Sound ocean disposal sites for long-term use. Each site designation is subject to various restrictions designed to support the goal of reducing or eliminating the disposal of dredged material in Long Island Sound. Restrictions include the completion of the LIS DMMP, the creation of a Long Island Sound Regional Dredging Team, and annual reviews by EPA until the completion of the LIS DMMP. Restrictions apply to all federal and private projects generating more than 25,000 cubic yards of dredged material in Long Island Sound.

On February 10, 2016, EPA proposed amendments to the 2005 rule that designated the Central and Western Long Island Sound Dredged Material Disposal Sites (81 FR 7055). The amended regulation incorporated standards and procedures for use of those sites as recommended in the Long Island Sound Dredged Material Management Plan (LIS DMMP). Public hearings on the proposed rule were held on March 1-2, 2016. The presentations and transcripts from those meetings can be found at:

Reports on Public Meetings for the Proposed Amendments to the Central and Western Long Island Sound Dredged Material Disposal Sites

On July 7, 2016, EPA released the Final Rule for the Amendments to Restrictions on Use of Dredged Material Disposal Sites in the Central and Western Regions of Long island Sound. The Final Rule amends the 2005 site designation rule with new restrictions on the use of the two sites to help meet the goal of reducing or eliminating dredged material disposal in the open waters of Long Island Sound. The Final Rule sets standards and procedures to promote the development and use of practicable alternatives to open-water disposal. One proposed procedure is to establish a standing, interagency "Steering Committee" and "Regional Dredging Team" for Long Island Sound. These groups will be comprised of federal and state agency representatives that will work together to identify, develop, and promote the use of practicable alternatives to open-water disposal of dredged material, such as using sand for beach nourishment. They also will review dredging projects and offer recommendations to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding how the dredged material from such projects should be handled. The Final Rule was published in the Federal Register (81 FR 44220). The Response to Comments document can be found at:

Response to Comments for the Amendments to the Restrictions on Use of CLDS and WLDS

Long Island Sound Dredged Material Management Plan (LIS DMMP)

A DMMP is a comprehensive planning process and decision-making tool to address the management of dredged material for a specific harbor or navigation project, group of related projects, or geographic area. The Final Long Island Sound Dredged Material Management Plan (LIS DMMP) and Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) were completed on January 11, 2016. The LIS DMMP identifies a wide range of alternatives to open-water disposal and recommends standards and procedures for determining which alternatives to pursue for different dredging projects. Those documents can be found on the USACE Long Island Sound Dredge Material Management Plan Web page Exit.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) was the lead agency for the development and management of the LIS DMMP. The USACE North Atlantic Division's New England and New York Districts have developed the LIS DMMP in cooperation with:

  • EPA Regions 1 and 2;
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA);
  • New York State Department of State (NYS DOS);
  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC);
  • Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP);
  • Connecticut Department of Transportation (CT DOT); and
  • Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (RI CRMC).

Long Island Sound Regional Dredging Team (LIS RDT)

To ensure progress towards reducing or eliminating open-water disposal in Long Island Sound, an interagency Long Island Sound Regional Dredging Team (LIS RDT) was established in 2006. The LIS RDT reviews proposed dredging projects to ensure that a thorough effort has been conducted to identify practicable alternatives to open-water disposal. The LIS RDT encourages the use of alternatives to open-water disposal, such as beneficial use and upland alternatives. The LIS RDT is part of the New England Regional Dredging Team Exit.

Annual Reviews

EPA was required to conduct an annual review of progress toward completion of the LIS DMMP. In addition providing updates on the status of the LIS DMMP, the EPA annual report included information on LIS RDT meetings conducted in the preceding year, and the quantity and location of dredged material disposal. The reports have been published on an EPA website each year since 2005.

Annual Reports Regarding Progress in Developing a Dredged Material Management Plan for the Long Island Sound Region

Eastern Long Island Sound Dredged Material Disposal Sites

The Cornfield Shoals and New London disposal sites are USACE-selected sites under section 103 of the MPRSA and are open for short-term, limited use. As selected sites, Cornfield Shoals and New London may be used for two consecutive five-year periods beginning with the first disposal activity. The sites were extended by Public Law through December 23, 2016. Because of a demonstrated, continuing need for dredged material disposal projected over a 30-year period (LIS DMMP Dredging Needs Report), EPA is pursuing the designation of one or more long-term disposal sites to serve the eastern region of Long Island Sound. A Notice of Intent to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Designation of Dredged Material Disposal Sites in Eastern Long Island Sound was published in the Federal Register on October 16, 2012 (77 FR 63312). On April 27, 2016, EPA released a proposed rule for the designation of a dredged material disposal site in the eastern region of Long Island Sound (81 FR 24748) and a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Designation of Dredged Material Disposal Site(s) in Eastern Long island Sound (ELIS DSEIS). EPA hosted public hearings to provide an opportunity to submit oral and written comments in New York and Connecticut in May 2016 . The comment period for the proposed rule and the ELIS DSEIS ended on July 18, 2016 (81 FR 41925). The transcripts from those meetings are available below (see Public Meetings & Reports). If you wish to be added to the mailing list for updates about this project, please e-mail ELIS@epa.gov.

Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Designation of Dredged Material Disposal Site(s) in Eastern Long island Sound (ELIS DSEIS)

Public Meetings & Reports


Public Meetings

 

Public Meeting 10
Thursday, May 26, 2016
5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
University of Connecticut - Avery Point
Academic Building, Auditorium
1084 Shennecossett Road
Groton, CT 06340

Public Meeting 9
Thursday, May 26, 2016
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
University of Connecticut - Avery Point
Academic Building, Auditorium
1084 Shennecossett Road
Groton, CT 06340

Public Meeting 8
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Mattituck - Laurel Library
13900 Main Road
Mattituck, NY 11952

Public Meeting 7
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Suffolk County Community College Culinary Arts Center
20 East Main Street
Riverhead, NY 11901

Public Meeting 6
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Fort Trumbull
90 Walbach Street
New London, CT 06320

Public Meeting 5
Monday, December 8, 2014
3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Suffolk County Community College Culinary Arts Center
20 East Main Street
Riverhead, NY 11901

Public Meeting 4
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
2:30 - 4:30 p.m.
University of Connecticut - Avery Point
Academic Building, Room 308
1084 Shennecossett Road
Groton, CT 06340

Public Meeting 3
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
2:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Suffolk County Community College Culinary Arts Center
20 East Main Street
Riverhead, NY 11901

Public Meeting 2
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
2:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Suffolk County Community College Culinary Arts Center
20 East Main Street
Riverhead, NY 11901

Public Meeting 1
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
University of Connecticut - Avery Point
Academic Building 308
1084 Shennecossett Road
Groton, CT 06340

Meeting Reports

Reports of Public Scoping Meetings for the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Designation of Dredged Material Disposal Sites in Eastern Long Island Sound

Educational Webinar

April 3, 2014 - Dredging in Long Island Sound (Introduction to Dredged Material Management)

Federal Register Notices


Eastern Long Island Sound Disposal Site

81 FR 41925, June 28, 2016: Notice of Extension of Public Comment Period; Designation of a Dredged Material Disposal Site in Eastern Region of Long Island Sound; Connecticut

81 FR 24748, April 27, 2016: Proposed Rule: Designation of a Dredged Material Disposal Site in Eastern Region of Long Island Sound; Connecticut

78 FR 939, January 7, 2013: Notice of Public Meeting: Designation of an Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site in Eastern Long Island Sound; Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island

77 FR 63312, October 16, 2012: Notice of Intent: Designation of an Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site (ODMDS) in Eastern Long Island Sound; Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island

Western and Central Long Island Sound Disposal Sites

81 FR 44220, July 7, 2016: Ocean Disposal; Amendments to Restrictions on Use of Dredged Material Disposal Sites in the Central and Western Regions of Long Island Sound; Connecticut

81 FR 7055, February 10, 2016: Ocean Disposal; Proposed Amendments to Restrictions on Use of Dredged Material Disposal Sites in the Central and Western Portions of Long Island Sound; Connecticut

70 FR 32498, June 3, 2005: Ocean Disposal; Designation of Dredged Material Disposal Sites in Central and Western Long Island Sound, CT

64 FR 29865, June 3, 1999: Designation of Dredged Material Disposal Sites in Long Island Sound, Connecticut and New York. Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement

Contacts

Jean Brochi, Project Manager
Alicia Grimaldi, Outreach Coordinator
U.S. EPA – New England Region
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code: OEP06-1
Boston, MA 02109-3912