Rehabilitation and Modification of Mooring Piers at the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers Collection & Removal of Drift Program Draft Finding of No Significant Impact and Environmental Assessment

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District
Published Feb. 4, 2021
Expiration date: 2/19/2021

ALL INTERESTED PARTIES: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District (USACE) has prepared a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the rehabilitation and modification of mooring piers at the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers Collection & Removal of Drift (“DC Drift”) Program located in Washington, D. C. The DC Drift Program was authorized by the River and Harbor Act of 1965, Section 301 (Public Law 89-298). The program conducts drift removal operations on a year-round basis and provides benefits to navigation by reducing damages, financial loss and safety hazards to commercial and recreational vessels, their operators and docking facilities. The DC Drift Program protects environmental habitat, improves water quality and aesthetics, and expands public access within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The DC Drift Program is planning to perform rehabilitation and modification of the mooring piers in the Anacostia River at the USACE DC Drift Program field office dock, in order to accommodate a new barge-mounted crane that would be used to aid in the offloading of debris collected by the DC Drift Program vessels. The previously used crane is no longer operational. The proposed action consists of removing 20 existing pilings by cutting them off at the mud line and installing 9 new pilings. The new pilings are to be 16-inch diameter steel, extending 10 feet above mean low water. The new pilings would be installed using a barge-mounted pile driver.

In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), USACE has prepared this draft EA and evaluated potential effects on the human environment. All applicable environmental laws have been considered. Short-term, minor, adverse impacts from the proposed project include air emissions, temporary minor impacts to water quality and essential fish habitat, temporary and localized impacts to underwater noise during installation of the new pilings, and temporary partial blockage of the Federal navigation channel during construction. Known contaminants potentially present along the sediment bottom of the Anacostia River due to historical anthropogenic activities include non-aqueous phase liquids, polychlorinated biphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and pesticides. Appropriate steps to minimize potential adverse impacts, such as the implementation of best management practices including the use of turbidity curtains and oil absorbing booms, would be incorporated into the project.

USACE requests comments regarding the draft EA and FONSI within 15 days of the date of this notice. For Federal and state agencies receiving a copy of this notice, we request that you provide comments concerning your responsibilities. The draft EA and FONSI are available at the USACE website: Comments can be submitted electronically to: If you have any questions, please contact Vanessa Campbell by telephone at (410) 962-6704 or by email at the address above.

Daniel M. Bierly, P.E.
Chief, Civil Project Development Branch
Planning Division