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Dredging Update  
   

Update provided by Steve Brandman 11-28-2018:

Since the failure of the special assessment vote in September, there have been questions from those in the Association, particularly those who own waterfront properties, what the next steps are and where we go from here. Since that time, the Dredging Committee has been in contact with the State DEQ and Water Quality to see what the options are. As is usual when dealing with any governmental agency, this has not been a quick process and just recently, we received some answers which may be helpful.

According to our District Representative with the DEQ, individual property owners who would like to have sediment and muck removed from the waterway bordering their property will need to apply for and receive a permit from the DEQ. The current permit held by the Association is good until 2023 but is only valid for the large projects which were previously planned. That permit cannot be amended in any way for use by individual property owners. Also, the rules for obtaining these permits were changed last year. The current permit is still valid as it was “grandfathered” from the old regulations but any new permits for this type of work are subject to first being approved by the Water Quality Division, and once they approve, their permit goes to DEQ for their approval and permit issuance. In short, unless we were to find some way to fund the projects as they were proposed prior to the vote, we cannot use the current permit.

Property owners may be able to apply for Minor Project Permits or MP Permits, rather than the regular permit the Association obtained before. I don’t know what the process is as a comparison or the cost, but I was led to believe it would be less.

 


 

The following would apply to the West Channel and any other areas which have not been dredged out previously:

Minor Project category 14.             Dredging on Inland Lakes and Streams – New Projects

Category applies to:         Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams

      New dredging that meets all of the following:                  

  • Dredging shall be a maximum of 75 cubic yards and 1000 square feet.
  • If sediment testing is required, testing has been conducted in accordance with DEQ policy and the applicant has provided sample results showing concentrations are less than levels of concern or dredging will not exacerbate a pre-existing problem as determined according to DEQ policy.
  • All dredged or excavated materials shall be disposed of in an identified site excluding Great Lakes, Inland Lakes and Streams, or Wetlands.
  • The applicant has defined the purpose of the project and demonstrated that impacts have been avoided and minimized.
  • This MP category does not include dredging in wetlands.

 


 

The following would apply to the Alder Creek Channel and any previously dredged areas:

Minor Project category 26.             Maintenance Dredging on Inland Lakes and Streams

Category applies to:            Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams

Excavation and removal of accumulated sediment for maintenance of previously dredged areas that meet all of the following:

  • Dredging shall be a maximum of 1,000 cubic yards per 5-year period.
  • Dredging shall be limited to previously DEQ permitted depths and area or controlling depths for ingress/egress, whichever is less.
  • Only 1 permit under this MP category may be authorized on the same parcel of property within any 5-year period.
  • If sediment testing is required, testing has been conducted in accordance with DEQ policy and the applicant has provided sample results showing concentrations are less than levels of concern or dredging will not exacerbate a pre-existing problem as determined according to DEQ policy.
  • All dredged or excavated materials shall be disposed of in an identified site excluding Great Lakes, Inland Lakes and Streams, or Wetlands.
  • This MP category does not include dredging in wetlands.

               


 

The question has also come up since the rule change whether or not sediment testing would be required. These were the answers from the DEQ:

  1. If only a few, scattered residents wish to dredge AND each of their projects will meet the attached Minor Project (MP) criteria, we will process each application independently and sediment testing will not be required.
  2. If one or more individual residents wish to dredge in excess of the MP criteria, sediment testing will be required.
  3. Whether or not sediment testing is required to obtain a permit to dredge, the residents need to be aware of the potential liability of disposing the material on site.  Please note that the allowable contaminant levels for dredging differ from those for uncontrolled disposal (attached).

 

There is no new information relative to the County dredging the Alder Creek Channel at this time. As far as we know it’s still being investigated. Due to the failure of the vote, this appears to be the only option available at this time for those property owners wishing to remove sediment and muck from areas adjacent to their properties.

 

I have the documents from the DEQ available if anyone needs them or would like to see them. I can be reached by email using the Dredging option found on the Contact Us page.

Steve Brandman

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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