The DRCC is looking for your feedback on its recommendation to remove the ‘Restrictions on Dredging Activities’ from the Detroit River’s list of impaired beneficial uses. The partnership uses a list of 14 potential beneficial use impairments or BUIs to determine the condition of the Detroit River. As of May 2017, the Detroit River has 7 impaired, 6 not impaired and 1 that requires further assessment. The proposed re-designation status brings us all one step closer to removing the Detroit River from the list of Great Lakes’ Areas of Concern.
What is Dredging?
Dredging is a common activity within the Great Lakes and involves removing sediment to clean, deepen or widen a channel for commercial or recreational navigation. Historically, the dredged material or sediment was disposed in open waters where it would not impede navigation. Today regular maintenance dredging for commercial navigation is carried out, but there are restrictions related to handling and disposal of contaminated sediments. If these dredged sediments ae contaminated with PCBs or heavy metals, open water disposal is not permitted, and must be disposed in an environmentally acceptable manner. To date, these sediments have been disposed in a Confined Disposal Facility (CDF), but new advancements are expanding the option to find a re-use with these sediments once the contaminants are removed.
Based on new 2013 draft guidance through Remedial Action Plan partners via the Canada Ontario Agreement, it is recommended that the Restrictions on Dredging Activities BUI be re-designated to ‘NOT IMPAIRED.’ This is because any sediment dredged for commercial navigation will be disposed of in a regulated management facility that follows federal and provincial guidelines and regulations.
What can you do?
We need your input! Please download the Assessment of Restrictions on Dredging Activities (BUI#7) Detroit River Area of Concern report, read it and submit your written comments by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday June 7, 2017. Thank you in advance for your feedback.