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  • Appeals court refuses to block dredging of Delaware River



    By JEFF MONTGOMERY • Th News Journal • February 24, 2010

    A federal appeals court panel today refused to block the startup of an Army Corps of Engineers deepening of the Delaware River’s main shipping channel, finding that opponents failed to prove they will likely win a broader challenge to the project.






    A coalition of environmental groups led by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network asked the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to intervene earlier this month after U.S. District Court Judge Sue L. Robinson refused to stop the first 12-mile stretch of deepening near Wilmington but blocked the remaining 90 miles pending a Delaware state permit review.

    The corps wants to deepen the main channel to 45 feet from its current 40-foot depth. Shipping and business interests along the river argue the deeper water is needed to serve new generations of deeper bottomed ships. Costs are estimated at about $310 million, with taxpayers to contribute about $232 million and private interests led by the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority covering another $78 million.

    Corps officials said as recently as today that work could start as early as Friday along the river near the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal.

    Third Circuit Chief Judge Anthony J. Scirica, Judge Julio M. Fuentes and Thomas M. Hardiman issued the ruling.

    Last year, federal officials declared that Delaware had unjustifiably delayed permit decisions on the case and invoked what they said was federal authority to overrule state environmental laws in order to “maintain navigation” on the nation’s waterways.

    Critics sued, saying the corps overstepped its bounds, potentially setting a bad national precedent. They argued in their appeal that Robinson’s split decision favoring the corps was inappropriate and incorrectly put federal and private interests above states’ rights.

    The most recent corps forecasts predict that the project will yield $3.5 million to $4 million more in annual benefits than costs, with about half the benefits going to refineries supplied by tanker from the river. Opponents dismissed the claims as overstated and based on flawed data and assumptions.

    A Government Accountability Office review, requested by some members of the region’s congressional delegation, is due next month.

    New Jersey joined the Riverkeeper group, Delaware Nature Society, National Wildlife Federation, New Jersey Environmental Federation and Clean Water Action in seeking the stay. The state and environmental organizations also are pursuing separate challenges to the dredging project in New Jersey’s federal court




 

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Thanks for the update...

I've had a gut feeling this thing would happen all along...although there is some hope that outside the box things might happen to delay or postpone this event...sorry to say but now I just wish for it to be done and over with. Its like a tooth being pulled, once its done the pain will go away and the healing will take effect. We can count on about 5 yrs for bottom structure to become restored once its disturbed by the dredge. Dread the dredge and the pcp soup it will certainly stir up and what about the spoils???...to be continued once that is determined :please: :huh:
 

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I have been following this for several years. I’m not surprised. The State of Delaware is to blame for their 20 year lack a reason to say no is not going to sale in a court of Law. I love their view on the delmarva chicken industry

There is a lot of $ and jobs on this so I’m not surprised and we need shipping

What I get upset with is using tax payer money to save million homes along the shore.

But no-one complains about that.
 

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they have been trying to do this since 1992 Del & NJ refused to give them the permits to do the dredging, the courts have said these states can no longer stop the Army Corp of Engineers from dredging and said they can go ahead without the permits. We probably should of not fought them back in 92' at least it would of been over by now. I hope it does not destroy the bay with all the poisons and heavy metals they are going to dig up:thumbsdown::thumbsdown::thumbsdown::thumbsdown::mad:
 

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I started duck hunting the delaware river in 1961 in the area of Little Tinicum Island down to the Delaware State line at Marcus Hook. I have seen major dredgeing and maintnance dredgeing thru out the years.
Some of you may remember the primary runways at Phile int airport were made with dredge spoil, As a kid trapping muskrat along the banks of the river at Essington there was a 1/2" covering of conjeild bunker oil on the granate rip rap banks behind westinghouse plant on 2nd st, At the time I just thought it was mud. Not knowing it was from the frequent spills at the time.
Also a great deal of dredge spoil was placed on the north end of the island for a proposed tank farm that never happened.The sub base of the island would not support the weight.
I do not have 2c in this other than my love of the river and it's wildlife! That being said I for one am not against dredgeing the river if it will rebuild the once strong economy the petro chemical industry once brought to the reagon. As well as shipbuilding and commerce. Tankers today are diverting to other ports rather than lighten at the mouth of the bay, This is costly and also dangerous procedure that has Spill writen all over it.
In the last 20 years or so American Dredge has been cleaning the bottom in the area of the Commadore bridge every winter with little or no affect on the quality of the river. And those slimy rocks mentioned earlier in this thread are now clean of oil.
Fishing and hunting are very important to me but a failing ecomony and people out of work are also important and a ballance has to be struck.Hopefully the dire expectations will turn out with a posative result!:)
 

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I did...

I have been following this for several years. I’m not surprised. The State of Delaware is to blame for their 20 year lack a reason to say no is not going to sale in a court of Law. I love their view on the delmarva chicken industry

There is a lot of $ and jobs on this so I’m not surprised and we need shipping

What I get upset with is using tax payer money to save million homes along the shore.

But no-one complains about that.
...I wrote to congressman Melendez and protested when the bill was going through which he supported to do beach replenishment. I sent out several disclaimers in protest. What a waste of tax monies and we wonder why the country is broke. Boondoggle after boondoggle for the greedy political machine to get their grubby little palms greased. To talk about going against the grain...ouch. Was a done deal as usual.
 

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We need the shipping ?? Here is the joke , they cant handle the "little" ships . They are doing it *** backwards . Build the posrts and refineries first . The small ships are stacked up waiting to get up the river . Politics at its best . GREAT timing on the start date .
 

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to me what really makes no sense is the fact that are going to make the river deeper from 40' to 45' in most places, when all the newer ships are going to draw close to 50' all this means is they are going to get the chance to stick it to us twice once they decide it will have to be dredged out to 50' to handle the super tankers. All this means is that they are going to get 2 chances to screw up the bottom and release twice as many poisons & heavy metal pollutants into the water so if they don't kill the bay the first time they surely will the second time:thumbsdown::thumbsdown::mad::mad:
 

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My thoughts exactly....

to me what really makes no sense is the fact that are going to make the river deeper from 40' to 45' in most places, when all the newer ships are going to draw close to 50' all this means is they are going to get the chance to stick it to us twice once they decide it will have to be dredged out to 50' to handle the super tankers. All this means is that they are going to get 2 chances to screw up the bottom and release twice as many poisons & heavy metal pollutants into the water so if they don't kill the bay the first time they surely will the second time:thumbsdown::thumbsdown::mad::mad:
...I'm glad you said it because that's exactly what I've been saying- Corps will get paid twice to do the work which could be done in one dredge...its all about the money. :bow:$$$$ Trumps Environment should be the Pa slogan on a billboard when you cross the river from NJ.
 
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