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BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently reached an agreement with Patriot Marine LLC (Patriot) and Coastline Consulting and Development LLC (Coastline) for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act. Patriot and Coastline agreed to pay a joint penalty of $42,000 for alleged unauthorized discharge of dredged material just outside of Gloucester Harbor and in Ipswich Bay, Massachusetts.
“Proper disposal of dredged material plays a vital part in protecting our oceans,” said EPA New England Acting Regional Administrator Deborah Szaro. “EPA is committed to working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to ensure that these disposals are conducted in an environmentally protective manner under the Clean Water Act.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) contracted with Coastline to perform maintenance dredging and other work related to the Annisquam River Federal Navigation Project (FNP). Coastline then subcontracted with Patriot to dredge, transport, and dispose of dredged material associated with the Annisquam FNP at two USACE designated disposal sites – known as the Gloucester Historic Disposal Site (GHDS) and the Ipswich Bay Nearshore Disposal Site (IBNDS).
A vessel operated by Patriot allegedly prematurely released three separate loads of dredged material, intended for the GHDS, into an area at the mouth of Gloucester Harbor. In another instance, a vessel operated by Patriot allegedly performed another off-target dump in the process of disposal at the IBNDS. Together, the four off-target dumps resulted in the discharge of approximately 939 cubic yards of dredged material into Gloucester Harbor and Ipswich Bay outside of the authorized disposal site boundaries.
The Clean Water Act prohibits the unauthorized discharge of pollutants, including dredged and/or fill material, from a point source into waters of the United States. The release of dredged material outside of authorized disposal sites can result in significant adverse impacts to fish, lobster, and other marine life.
Information about USACE permitting and other authorization requirements for the discharge of dredged and/or fill material into jurisdictional waters can be found at https://www.nae.usace.army.mil/missions/regulatory.
Clean Water Act: https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/summary-clean-water-act
Water Enforcement: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/water-enforcement
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