Kennebec River Sinking Basin Dredge

Notice of Public Comment Regarding Fishing Industry Impacts Regarding the Bath Iron Works Sinking Basin Dredge in the Kennebec River Bath, Maine.

Pursuant to 38 M.R.S. §480-D, sub-§9, the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) is required to provide the Maine Department of Environmental Protection with an assessment on the impacts on the fishing industry of a proposed dredging operation.  Bath Iron Works (BIW) seeks to obtain a new Natural Resource Protection Act (NRPA) permit for continued maintenance dredging of the existing Dry Dock sinking basin.  The sinking basin is in the channel of the Kennebec River, east of the BIW main yard facility.  Dredging of this area is necessary to maintain proper water depths, so BIW can continue to launch and dock ships for the United States Navy.  Disposal of dredged materials will occur at the previously approved in-river disposal site at Bluff Head.

BIW is proposing to dredge up to 70,000 cubic yards of material every 2-3 years in order to ensure continued launching of ships using the sinking basin.   The basin measures 850 feet by 280 feet and is dredged to -70 feet below mean low water (MLW).  BIW is proposing to dredge approximately 30,000 cubic yards of sand in late fall of 2020 and early 2021.  Dredging activity will occur between November 1 and April 1 in any given year.

DMR will accept written comments about the potential impacts of the proposed dredging operation on fishing in the area and on impacts to the fishing industry of the proposed route to the in-river disposal site at Bluff Head.  Written comments need to be submitted by 5pm on August 15, 2020.  Comments should be sent to Amanda Ellis at the email or mailing address listed below.

Send comments to: Amanda Ellis, Department of Marine Resources, 21 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333; or email:  dmr.rulemaking@maine.gov.

For more information about this project contact Denis-Marc Nault at Denis-Marc.Nault@maine.gov or (207) 592-0512

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