GALVESTON, Texas – On April 7, The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District published a notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Port Corpus Christi’s proposed Channel Deepening Project. To ensure that all of the issues related to this proposed project are addressed, the Corps will conduct public scoping meetings, at which agencies, organizations, and members of the general public present comments or suggestions with regard to the range of actions, alternatives, and potential impacts to be considered in the EIS.
The proposed 14-mile Channel Deepening Project would be located within the existing Corpus Christi Ship Channel, starting near the southeast side of Harbor Island and extending beyond the currently authorized terminus in deep water in the Gulf of Mexico. Deepening the channel will allow it to accommodate fully laden very large crude carriers (VLCCs) that draft approximately 70 feet. The proposed project does not include channel widening, but some incidental widening may be done in order to meet side-slope requirements and to maintain channel stability.
“On June 18, 2019, this project was designated as a major infrastructure project by the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council,” said Col. Timothy Vail, USACE Galveston District Commander. “This Council is responsible for leading ongoing government-wide efforts to modernize the Federal permitting and review process pursuant to the requirements set forth in Title 41 of Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST-41)”.
“The Channel Deepening Project will create approximately 46 million cubic yards of dredged material,” said Jayson Hudson, regulatory project manager at USACE Galveston District. “The applicant, the Port of Corpus Christi Authority, is proposing to use suitable material to create near-shore feeder berms that will nourish eroded beach areas and to reestablish sand dunes on San Jose Island that were breached by Hurricane Harvey. The project will also restore placement-area erosion, place material in areas breached by Hurricane Harvey, and strengthen a perimeter berm along Harbor Island to absorb waves and ship wakes in order to protect marsh and submerged aquatic vegetation behind the berm. Material judged unsuitable for beneficial use would be deposited in authorized placement areas.”
The Corps invites all affected federal, state, and local agencies, affected Native American Tribes, other interested parties, and the general public to participate in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process during development of the EIS. This “public scoping process” provides information to the public, narrows the scope of analysis to significant environmental issues, serves as a mechanism to solicit agency and public input on alternatives and issues of concern, and ensures full and open participation in the Draft EIS process. You can view the Notice of Intent at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/04/07/2020-07313/intent-to-prepare-an-environmental-impact-statement-and-public-scoping-meeting-for-the-port-of Corpus Christi Channel Deepening Project, Nueces and Aransas Counties, Texas.
Scoping meetings may be held in person or virtually. They begin with an informal open house, during which Corps and PCCA personnel discuss the proposed project and describe the EIS process. The Corps invites comments on the proposed scope and content of the EIS from all interested parties. Verbal transcribers will be on hand to accept verbal comments during the prescribed time limit for verbal comments. Written comments may be submitted prior to, during, or up to 14 days after the scoping meeting. The specific dates, times, and locations of scoping meetings will be published in press releases, special public notices, and on the Corps project website: https://www.swg.usace.army.mil/Business-With-Us/Regulatory/Special-Projects-Environmental-Impact-Statements/
Mail written comments regarding the proposed EIS scope to Mr. Jayson Hudson, USACE, Galveston District, Regulatory Branch, P.O. Box 1229, Galveston, Texas 77553-1229. You can also email your comments in .doc, .docx, .pdf or .txt formats to Mr. Hudson at SWG201900067@usace.army.mil.
In 1880, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers established Galveston District as its first office in Texas, tasked with overseeing river and harbor improvements in the state. Today, the District’s main missions have grown to include navigation, flood risk management, regulatory oversight, emergency management, and ecosystem restoration.
For information about the district’s permitting process, visit http://www.swg.usace.army.mil/Missions/Permits.aspx.
For other news and information, visit www.swg.usace.army.mil, find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/GalvestonDistrict, or follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/USACEgalveston.