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Environment and Outdoors

Regulators Approve Site To Dispose Of Material Dredged From Portland Harbor

Maine Lobster
Robert F. Bukaty
/
AP file
Lobster fishing boats head out to haul traps, Thursday, July 30, 2020, off Portland, Maine.

State and federal regulators have approved a new disposal site for material to be dredged from Portland harbor.

In a post on its website, the city says the Confined Aquatic Disposal Cell will be a deep hole dredged into the harbor floor to contain contaminated material removed from around piers and wharves. Once filled, the cell will be covered with a protective layer of sand. The clean material dredged to construct the cell would be disposed of in federal waters six miles off the coast of Cape Elizabeth.

Portland’s Waterfront Coordinator Bill Needelman says sediment buildup in the harbor has eliminated up to 3,000 feet of commercial vessel berthing space.

Authorities hope the approval of the disposal cell will spur additional federal funding for the actual dredging of the harbor.

The city expects the final Army Corps of Engineers permit for dredging of wharves and piers to be issued in May. The total cost of the project is estimated at $30 million.