Dredged Material Decision Tool (DMDT)
To facilitate domestic and international transportation of goods on the Great Lakes, the navigation channels in rivers and harbors must be routinely dredged. Historically, dredged material has been disposed of in deep water offshore or confined disposal facilities on land. These disposal options are no longer available in some places and new solutions are needed for disposal.
Dredged material can be used sustainably and beneficially in many ways including as fill or construction material, for habitat restoration, and for brownfield remediation projects. To support and promote these beneficial uses, EPA Region 5 developed a Dredged Materials Management Tool (DMDT) to help communities characterize and quantify the environmental and social benefits of using dredged material so that these benefits can be considered alongside economic costs and benefits when making dredged material management decisions.
EPA Region 5 worked with EPA researchers to help refine the DMDT and enhance its usability based on insights from stakeholders involved in dredging decisions. Based on these insights, a user-friendly interface was created for the tool along with an instruction manual that describes how to use it.
The DMDT can be used to quantify and weigh the environmental, social and economic aspects of dredged material management options the user is considering. Once the options are evaluated, the tool can be used to communicate the evaluation process and results to decision makers and the community via spreadsheets and bar graphs.