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SWG-2012-00151 - Sims Metal Management - Harris County

Published Feb. 19, 2013
Expiration date: 3/21/2013

Full Public Notice   Project Plans

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:  The applicant proposes to conduct dredging and construct structures in waters of the of the United States (U.S.) during the development of a metal recycling facility, including ship and barge berth, warehouses, bulk material handling area, associated buildings and infrastructure.  The proposed project would be constructed on a previously developed 73.17-acre property.  Prior to construction and dredging, the applicant proposes to demolish all existing structures on the project site, and within the existing basin, utilizing land-based construction equipment or barge-mounted trackhoes and cranes.  No discharges of fill material, or other adverse environmental impacts, are anticipated from proposed demolition.


After demolition of existing structures, the applicant would dredge 8.90 acres within an existing onsite basin, and impact (by dredge and fill activities) 1.01 acres of adjacent wetlands, to expand the existing basin for the import and export of bulk metal materials. The newly expanded basin would be bulkheaded with 1,685 linear feet of steel sheet pilings, and include two berths, one for Panamax bulk cargo vessels, and the other for bulk cargo hopper barges.  The steel sheet piling bulkhead would be installed to accommodate a wharf for bulk metal loading and unloading.


The applicant also proposes to construct interior roadways, access gates, laydown areas, utilities related structures (water, sewer, fire, lighting, communication, and security), and buildings.  There would be installation of equipments such as metal shredders, grapples, magnetic cranes, and front-end loaders.  Stormwater conveyance structures such as pipes, ditches, detention pond, and oil/water separators would be installed to treat runoff from the facility.


In summary, the proposed project would result in impacts a total of 9.91 acres of jurisdictional waters of the U.S., including wetlands (8.90 acres jurisdictional waters, and 1.01 acres of wetlands). A total of 231,900 cubic yards of dredged material would be dredged from the existing man-made basin.  Impacts to two jurisdictional freshwater wetlands consist of excavating a 0.88-acre portion, and filling a 0.13-acre portion with 1,100 cubic yards of clean soil to accommodate the proposed development. 


No other special aquatic sites would be impacted by the proposed project.  Dredging activities would utilize a hydraulic, cutter/suction dredger, and dredged material would be transported, via slurry pipe, to either Filter Bed dredged material placement area (DMPA), Glendale DMPA, Stimson DMPA, House Tract DMPA, Rosa Allen DMPA or Clinton DMPA.  The proposed dredge depths within the basin would range from -15 mean low lower water (MLLW) to -40 MLLW.  Current depths at the facility range from 0 MLLW to -35 MLLW.  The dredged depth would match the bottom elevations of the adjacent HSC to allow Panamax bulk cargo ship access to the berth and wharf area of the proposed project site.  Prior to transporting dredged material, the applicant would abide by all applicable sediment testing procedures required by the Port of Houston Authority.


Stormwater runoff from the project site would be directed into an on-site sediment/retention basin and oil/water separator prior to discharge into the adjacent HSC.  Proposed roadways, parking areas, and bulk material handling areas would be graded to direct runoff into on-site municipal separate storm sewer systems.