Visit these related links:
By CAROL COMEGNO
The state on Monday approved a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plan to dredge a section of the Delaware River near Beckett Street Marine Terminal so the battleship USS New Jersey can be towed to its new $11 million pier now under construction in Camden.
The state issued a water quality permit and an approval similar to a coastal zone permit for dredging 80,000 cubic yards of river material. The dredging will carve a channel 35 feet deep. The water is now 15 to 33 feet deep.
"The plan is consistent with the state's coastal zone management program and does not violate state surface water quality standards," said Larry Baier, chief of the state office of dredging and sediment technology.
The river bottom material contains elevated levels of the pesticide 4,4-DDE, which Baier said is similar to DDT.
"The fill is not a public health concern but rather a management concern that it (be) handled and stored and buried properly," said Baier.
The permit calls for the Army Corps to deposit the dredge material at its outdoor disposal facility at National Park in Gloucester County. Baier said the secondary channel for the ship will be about 1,200 feet long and up to 300 feet wide and will not interfere with navigation in the main 40- foot channel used by river traffic. However, Baier said he recently learned material could be disposed of at another location, depending on which company receives the contract from the Army Corps.
Baier said the work cannot start before June 21 because of restrictions on work in the river during the fish spawning season.