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Managing Ocean Dumping in EPA Region 10

Region 10’s Ocean Dumping Management Program plays an essential role in keeping our oceans safe and clean, while supporting the marine transportation system and the economy. Region 10 serves Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Oregon and 271 native tribes. Region 10 encompasses ocean waters offshore of Alaska, Washington and Oregon.

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Announcements

Interested parties are hereby notified that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Northwestern Division (Corps) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Region 10 (EPA) have released the 2016 Sediment Evaluation Framework for the Pacific Northwest (SEF). The 2016 SEF replaces the 2009 SEF. The SEF guidance is used to evaluate the suitability of dredged material for unconfined, aquatic disposal in the states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. The agencies use the SEF to ensure that Corps Civil Works dredging, and dredging permitted by the Corps’ Regulatory Program, complies with the Clean Water Act and Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act. It is the intent of the agencies to update the guidelines contained in the 2016 SEF in future years, with public input, as revisions become necessary due to new information or refinement of sediment sampling and testing procedures.

The SEF is available from the following websites:

The Draft of the SEF was available for comment between 19 November 2015 and 1 February 2016. Our sincere thanks to everyone who took the time to comment. View the Agencies’ Response to Comments on the Corps' website.

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Ocean Dumping Permits

Under the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA), EPA is the permitting agency for the ocean disposal of all materials except dredged material. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is the permitting agency for ocean disposal of dredged material. See below for additional information about ocean disposal of dredged material. EPA has issued MPRSA general permits for the ocean dumping of certain materials that may have a minimal adverse environmental impact and are generally disposed of in small quantities. In rare instances, EPA Regional Offices may issue an emergency, research or special ocean dumping permit to an individual or entity.

EPA Region 10 provides localized support and implements the following MPRSA general permits to ensure responsible disposal of wastes and other materials in their ocean waters:

Please visit our Ocean Dumping Permits Web page for additional information.

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Fish Waste Disposal

For information about the disposal of fish wastes in ocean waters, please see our Disposal of Fish Wastes Web page.

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Ocean Disposal of Dredged Material in Region 10

Clamshell Dredge in YaquinaDredging of the Yaquina Bay Federal Navigation Channel using a clamshell dredge in Fall 2014. Photo taken by: B. Lohrman.The regulation of the disposal of dredged material in ocean waters is a shared responsibility of Region 10 and USACE Portland, Seattle and Alaska Districts.

Under the MPRSA, USACE is the federal agency that decides whether to issue a permit authorizing the ocean disposal of dredged materials or authorize federal navigation projects involving ocean disposal of dredged materials. USACE relies on EPA’s ocean dumping criteria when evaluating permit requests for (and implementing federal projects involving) the transportation of dredged material for the purpose of dumping it into ocean waters. EPA’s ocean dumping criteria consider, among other things:

  • the need for dumping;
  • the environmental impact of the dumping, including the effect of dumping on marine ecosystems, shorelines and beaches;
  • the effect of the dumping on esthetic, recreational or economic values;
  • the adverse effect of dumping on other uses of the ocean including navigation, scientific study, fishing and resource exploitation activities; and
  • appropriate locations and methods of disposal or recycling, including land-based alternatives.

All MPRSA permits for dredged material disposal in ocean waters, and federal projects involving dredged material disposal in ocean waters, are subject to EPA review and written concurrence. EPA may concur, concur with conditions, or decline to concur (i.e., non-concur) on the proposed permit. If EPA concurs with conditions, the final permit issued by USACE must include those conditions (for example, ocean disposal site use conditions). If EPA declines to concur on the proposed permit, the permit cannot be issued. The USACE-led review and permitting process is facilitated by early coordination, including review and approval of the sampling and analysis plan, ensuring full characterization of the project sediments proposed to be dredged.

For additional information about MPRSA permits and federal projects involving dredged material, please see Ocean Disposal of Dredged Material Web page.

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Dredged Material Testing for Ocean Disposal in Region 10

Evaluation of dredged material for ocean disposal under the MPRSA relies largely on biological tests, using standardized procedures and test organisms, also referred to as bioassays. The ocean testing manual, also known as the “Green Book,” provides national technical guidance for determining the suitability of dredged material for ocean disposal through chemical, physical and biological evaluations. The technical guidance is intended for use by dredging applicants, laboratory scientists, and regulators. Regional guidance is provided in Regional Implementation Manual.

For more information regarding dredged material testing, including additional guidance documents, please visit our Testing and Evaluation Web page.

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Ocean Disposal Sites in Region 10

Region 10 is responsible for designating and managing ocean disposal sites for all types of materials in the Region. Appropriate management of ocean dumping sites is aimed at assuring that disposal activities will not unreasonably degrade or endanger human health and welfare, the marine environment or cause excessive economic impacts. All currently designated ocean sites in Region 10 are for the disposal of dredged material permitted or authorized under the MPRSA.

Each ocean disposal sites must have a site management and monitoring plan (SMMP). Region 10, in collaboration with USACE, is responsible for developing SMMPs for designated ocean dredged material disposal sites.

Region 10, often in coordination with USACE, monitors ocean dredged material disposal sites. Monitoring surveys may include, but are not limited to:

  • sediment analysis for physical properties;
  • sediment analysis for chemical contamination;
  • benthic infaunal community analysis;
  • video imagery from dive surveys, remotely-operated vehicles, benthic sleds;
  • remote-sensing surveys including multibeam surveys and side-scan sonar surveys;
  • sediment profile imagery;
  • benthic trawls; and
  • water quality testing.

Please visit our Ocean Disposal Map and Ocean Disposal Sites Web pages to view a national map of ocean disposal sites and to learn more about site managment and monitoring under the MPRSA.

The map below presents Region 10's ocean disposal sites offshore of Alaska, Washington and Oregon. Please zoom out to view the disposal sites of Alaska.

  • The size of the orange circles represents the square area of the disposal site.
  • Click on the disposal sites for more information on EPA’s ocean disposal sites.

Descriptions of the ocean disposal sites, site management and monitoring plans, and monitoring results in Region 10 are provided below.

Alaska Disposal Sites

Nome, AK- East Site

Location: 64⁰29.8539’ N, 165⁰24.8385’ W; 64⁰29.7039’ N, 165⁰23.6054’ W; 64⁰28.9039’ N, 165⁰23.6387’ W; 64⁰29.0705’ N, 165⁰24.5718’ W (NAD83)
Size: 0.37 square nautical miles
Depth: 3.28- 39.37 feet
Use: Dredged material disposal

Nome, AK- West Site

Location: 64⁰30.0205’ N, 165⁰26.0215’ W; 64⁰29.2538’ N, 165⁰26.2214’ W; 64⁰29.1705’ N, 165⁰25.5216’ W; 64⁰29.8539’ N, 165⁰24.9051’ W (NAD83)
Size: 0.30 square nautical miles
Depth: 3.28- 36.09 feet
Use: Dredged material disposal

Oregon Disposal Sites

Chetco, OR Dredged Material Site

Location: 42⁰01.916’ N, 124⁰16.616’ W; 42⁰01.916’ N, 124⁰16.216’ W; 42⁰01.616’ N, 124⁰16.216’ W; 42⁰01.616’ N, 124⁰16.616’ W (NAD83)
Size: 0.09 square nautical miles
Depth: Average 68.90 feet
Use: Dredged material disposal
Management Plan: Chetco SMMP
Monitoring Reports: 2013 National Ocean Dumping Site Monitoring Assessment Report (PDF)(31 pp, 1 MB)

Coos Bay, OR Dredged Material Site E

Location: 43⁰21.9733’ N, 124⁰22.8238’ W; 43⁰21.790’ N, 124⁰22.0571’ W; 43⁰21.5733’ N, 124⁰22.1571’ W; 43⁰21.7566’ N, 124⁰22.9238’ W (NAD83)
Size: 0.13 square nautical miles
Depth: Average 55.77 feet
Use: Dredged material disposal
Management Plan: Coos Bay SMMP
Monitoring Reports:

Coos Bay, OR Dredged Material Site F

Location: 43⁰22.914’ N, 124⁰19.483’ W; 43⁰21.547’ N, 124⁰20.628’ W; 43⁰22.856’ N, 124⁰23.540’ W; 43⁰22.973’ N, 124⁰22.590’ W (NAD83)
Size: 3.18 square nautical miles
Depth: 19.69- 167.32 feet
Use: Dredged material disposal
Management Plan: Coos Bay SMMP
Monitoring Reports: 2013 National Ocean Dumping Site Monitoring Assessment Report (PDF)(31 pp, 1 MB)

Coos Bay, OR Dredged Material Site H

Location: 43⁰23.8733’ N, 124⁰22.8738’ W; 43⁰23.6900’ N, 124⁰23.0905’ W; 43⁰24.2566’ N, 124⁰23.5072’ W; 43⁰24.0733’ N, 124⁰23.7072’ W (NAD83)
Size: 0.13 square nautical miles
Depth: Average 180.45 feet
Use: Dredged material disposal
Management Plan: Coos Bay SMMP
Monitoring Reports: 2013 National Ocean Dumping Site Monitoring Assessment Report (PDF)(31 pp, 1 MB)

Coquille River Entrance, OR

Location: 43⁰08.4231’ N, 124⁰26.807’ W; 43⁰08.0398’ N, 124⁰26.2069’ W; 43⁰08.2065’ N, 124⁰27.0736’ W; 43⁰07.8231’ N, 124⁰26.4569’ W (NAD83)
Size: 0.17 square nautical miles
Depth: Average 60.04 feet
Use: Dredged material disposal
Management Plan: Coquille River Entrance SMMP
Monitoring Reports: 2013 National Ocean Dumping Site Monitoring Assessment Report (PDF)(31 pp, 1 MB)

Mouth of the Columbia River, OR/WA Dredged Material Deep Water Site

Location: 46⁰11.050’ N, 124⁰10.021’ W; 46⁰13.163’ N, 124⁰12.661’ W; 46⁰10.681’ N, 124⁰16.774’ W; 46⁰08.570’ N, 124⁰14.134’ W (NAD83)
Size: 10.59 square nautical miles
Depth: 190.29- 298.56 feet
Use: Dredged material disposal
Management Plan: Mouth of the Columbia River SMMP
Monitoring Reports:

Mouth of the Columbia River, OR/WA Dredged Material Shallow Water Site

Location: 46⁰15.527’ N, 124⁰05.162’ W; 46⁰14.294’ N, 124⁰07.242’ W; 46⁰15.047’ N, 124⁰08.191’ W; 46⁰15.879’ N, 124⁰05.715’ W (NAD83)
Size: 1.35 square nautical miles
Depth: 45.93- 75.46 feet
Use: Dredged material disposal
Management Plan: Mouth of the Columbia River SMMP
Monitoring Reports: 2014 National Ocean Dumping Site Monitoring Assessment Report (PDF)(28 pp, 2 MB, EPA 842-R-17-002)

North Siuslaw River, OR Dredged Material Disposal Site

Location: 44⁰01.517’ N, 124⁰10.215’ W; 44⁰01.823’ N, 124⁰10.047’ W; 44⁰01.532’ N, 124⁰09.031’ W; 44⁰01.224’ N, 124⁰09.190’ W (NAD83)
Size: 0.26 square nautical miles
Depth: 29.53- 114.83 feet
Use: Dredged material disposal
Management Plan: Siuslaw River SMMP
Monitoring Reports:

North Umpqua River, OR Dredged Material Disposal Site

Location: 43⁰41.384’ N, 124⁰14.338’ W; 43⁰41.431’ N, 124⁰12.910’ W; 43⁰40.727’ N, 124⁰14.297’ W; 43⁰40.772’ N, 124⁰12.879’ W (NAD83)
Size: 0.68 square nautical miles
Depth: 29.53- 121.39 feet
Use: Dredged material disposal
Management Plan: Umpqua River SMMP
Monitoring Reports:

Rogue River, OR Dredged Material Site

Location: 42⁰24.256’ N, 124⁰26.873’ W; 42⁰24.056’ N, 124⁰26.656’ W; 42⁰23.656’ N, 124⁰27.290’ W; 42⁰23.856’ N, 124⁰27.506’ W (NAD 83)
Size: 0.14 square nautical miles
Depth: 49.21- 88.59 feet
Use: Dredged material disposal
Management Plan: Rogue River SMMP
Monitoring Reports:

South Siuslaw River, OR Dredged Material Disposal Site

Location: 44⁰00.778’ N, 124⁰10.442’ W; 44⁰01.106’ N, 124⁰10.407’ W; 44⁰01.068’ N, 124⁰09.725’ W; 44⁰00.740’ N, 124⁰09.760’ W (NAD83)
Size: 0.16 square nautical miles
Depth: 78.74- 124.67 feet
Use: Dredged material disposal
Management Plan: Siuslaw River SMMP
Monitoring Reports:

South Umpqua River, OR North Dredged Material Disposal Site

Location: 43⁰39.538’ N, 124⁰14.593’ W; 43⁰39.587’ N, 124⁰13.183’ W; 43⁰38.884’ N, 124⁰14.549’ W; 43⁰38.930’ N, 124⁰13.139’ W (NAD83)
Size: 0.68 square nautical miles
Depth: 29.53- 124.67 feet
Use: Dredged material disposal
Management Plan: Umpqua River SMMP
Monitoring Reports:

Yaquina North ODMD Site

Location: 44⁰38.299’ N, 124⁰07.432’ W; 44⁰38.214’ N, 124⁰06.518’ W; 44⁰37.238’ N, 124⁰07.626’ W; 44⁰37.153’N, 124⁰06.712’ W (NAD83)
Size: 0.71 square nautical miles
Depth: 112- 152 feet
Use: Dredged material disposal
Management Plan: Yaquina SMMP
Monitoring Reports:

Yaquina South ODMD Site

Location: 44⁰36.075’ N, 124⁰07.877’ W; 44⁰35.989’ N, 124⁰06.964’ W; 44⁰35.014’ N, 124⁰08.071’ W; 44⁰34.929’ N, 124⁰07.157’ W (NAD83)
Size: 0.71 square nautical miles
Depth: 112- 152 feet
Use: Dredged material disposal
Management Plan: Yaquina SMMP
Monitoring Reports:

Washington Disposal Sites

Grays Harbor Eight Mile Site

Location: 46⁰56.9884’ N, 124⁰20.1440’ W (NAD83)
Size: 0.50 square nautical miles
Depth: 137.80- 160.76 feet
Use: Dredged material disposal
Management Plan: Grays Harbor SMMP
Monitoring Reports:

Grays Harbor Southwest Navigation Site

Location: 46⁰52.9219’ N, 124⁰13.8938’ W; 46⁰52.1553’ N, 124⁰13.0438’ W; 46⁰51.1386’ N, 124⁰14.2604’ W; 46⁰51.9053’ N, 124⁰15.0438’ W (NAD83)
Size: 1.25 square nautical miles
Depth: 98.43- 121.39 feet
Use: Dredged material disposal
Management Plan: Grays Harbor SMMP
Monitoring Reports:

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Regional Dredging Teams and Other Partnerships

In addition to this regulatory dredged material management team, other interagency/stakeholder partnership efforts are under way in Region 10 to improve sediment management and increase beneficial reuse of dredged material. One of these is the Lower Columbia Solutions Group, which is striving to coordinate sediment management issues and policies to maximize opportunities for beneficial use at the Mouth of the Columbia River.

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Beneficial Use

Most dredged material represents a valuable resource and should be considered for beneficial uses. Beneficial use is the placement or use of dredged material for some productive purpose from which economic, social or other benefits may be derived. Compared to disposal of dredged material in confined sites, beneficial use reduces the need for disposal. Examples of beneficial use include wetlands restoration, beach nourishment, shoreline construction, and habitat creation. The Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 governs discharge of dredged or fill material into “waters of the United States”, including the placement of dredged material in the territorial sea for a purpose other than disposal.

For information on dredged material permitting under CWA 404, please see our Section 404 of the Clean Water Act Web page.

Additional beneficial use documents are available on our web page for Regulations, Guidance, and Additional Ocean Dumping Information.

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Contact Region 10

Alaska

Chris Meade, 907-586-7622, meade.chris@epa.gov

Oregon and Washington

Bridgette Lohrman, 503-326-4006, lohrman.bridgette@epa.gov

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