OP-N-18-02 (REVISION) Baltimore Harbor and Channels, Virginia

Published April 16, 2018
Expiration date: 5/15/2018




Operations Division                                                                                                       27 April 2018



SUBJECT:  Baltimore Harbor and Channels, Virginia ‑ Proposed Maintenance Dredging of the York Spit Channel



PUBLIC NOTICE – CENAB-OP‑N-18-02 - Revision



Pursuant to Sections 313 and 404 of the Clean Water Act of 1977 (33 USC 1323 and 1344), NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT PENDING THE AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS, the Baltimore District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, proposes to perform maintenance dredging of the Baltimore Harbor & Channels Federal navigation project during calendar years 2018 and 2019,


The plans and location of the proposed work are shown on the enclosed map.  The proposed work consists of maintenance dredging portions of the York Spit Federal navigation channel to a depth of 51 feet.  The dredging includes one foot of advanced maintenance dredging and one foot of allowable overdepth dredging.  Due to the imprecise nature of dredging operations, the dredging contractor may remove excess material beyond the limits described above in some areas and may not remove all material in other areas.


Approximately 1,600,000 cubic yards of material consisting primarily of sand, mud, silt, shell, and mixtures thereof will be dredged by clamshell dredge and scow.  The material will be placed at the open water Wolf Trap Alternative Placement Site, which is the primary placement site for York Spit.


The Baltimore District performs regular sediment and elutriate testing of the York Spit channel approximately every three years and has made a factual determination that the dredged material discharge meets CWA Section 404(b)1 requirements.  The proposed methods of dredging and placement of material are addressed in and consistent with the Final Environmental Impact Statement and accompanying Supplemental Information to date.


A preliminary review of this work and previous evaluations of historical dredging and placement operations for the Baltimore Harbor project has been completed.  The review indicates that the proposed work will not adversely affect listed species or their critical habitat pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, as amended.  The National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) prepared a biological opinion issued in 2012 on the impacts of maintenance dredging in the Virginia channels. 


The project has been coordinated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; U.S. Department of Commerce, National Marine Fisheries Service; Virginia Departments of Environmental Quality, Conservation and Recreation, and Game and Inland Fisheries; Virginia Marine Resources Commission; Virginia

Institute of Marine Science; Maryland Department of Planning, Business and Economic Development; and Maryland Department of Transportation, and Maryland Port Administration.


On October 13, 2013, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality issued an authorization pursuant to its Virginia Water Protection Permit Program and Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, as amended, for this maintenance dredging activity.  VWP Individual Permit Number 13-0593 is effective for the term from October 30, 2013 through October 29, 2028.    


Previous cultural resources reconnaissance surveys and intensive marine surveys have indicated that there are no historically significant artifacts in the proposed work area.  A review of the latest published version of the National Register of Historic Places indicates that there are no registered properties or properties listed as eligible for inclusion therein located at the proposed work sites.  Currently unknown archaeological, scientific, prehistoric, or historical data may be lost or destroyed by the proposed work.


The decision whether to accomplish the work proposed in this public notice is based on an evaluation of the probable impact, including cumulative impacts, of the proposed work on the public interest.  The decision will reflect the national concern for the protection and utilization of important resources.  The benefits which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the proposal must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments.  All factors which may be relevant to the proposal are considered; among those are conservation, economics, aesthetics, energy needs, general environmental concerns, fish and wildlife values, wetlands, historic and cultural values, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, water quality, flood hazards, flood plain values, land use, recreation, safety, food production, and in general, the needs and the welfare of the people.  The work will not be accomplished unless it is found to be in the public interest.


Any person who has an interest which may be affected by the placement of this dredged material may request a public hearing.  The request must be submitted in writing to the District Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, 2 Hopkins Plaza, Baltimore, Maryland 21201 by May 16, 2018 and must clearly set forth the interest which may be affected and the manner in which the interest may be affected by this activity.  The Corps has completed the environmental documentation for this project, which is available upon request. 


Since we are not aware of all persons interested in the project, we request that you provide this information to anyone whom may have interest.  If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Kevin Mainquist at (410) 962‑6030 or Paul.K.Mainquist@usace.army.mil.






                                                                                      Acting Chief, Operations Division



Map of Dredging and Placement Areas