The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed the designation of an Eastern Long Island Sound Disposal Site (ELDS), in addition to the central and western Long Island Sound disposal sites, to be located offshore from New London, Connecticut.
The disposal site will facilitate the necessary dredging in the area, allowing for safe navigation and marine commerce and recreation, which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) estimates will produce approximately 22.6 million cubic yards of material in the next three decades. The EPA cites the large volume of estimated material and the lower capacity at current disposal sites as primary reasons for creating the ELDS, along with the fact that there is no long-term use disposal site for the eastern Long Island Sound.
The EPA’s proposal would place the same restrictions on use of the disposal site as it does for the central and western Long Island Sound disposal sites. The restrictions promote beneficial use of the dredged material and alternatives to open water disposal when possible. The EPA and other federal and state agencies are working to adopt alternatives to open-water disposal, but in this case, according to a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement also recently issued, it is still the best option