ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, is seeking public comments on a new dredged material management plan and Environmental Assessment released today, March 22, for the Mississippi River’s Lower Pool 4.
The draft plan describes what the Corps proposes to do with the dredged material, or river sand, once it’s removed from the Mississippi River navigation channel near Wabasha, Minnesota. If approved, the new plan would ensure Corps officials can economically manage dredged river sand for at least the next 20 years, while remaining protective of the environment. The updated plan is the culmination of extensive collaboration with the city of Wabasha to develop shared solutions for managing the river sand within the community.
“I am grateful to Mayor Emily Durand for her leadership and vision, and the city of Wabasha staff for their teamwork and collaboration leading up to this point. The working relationship between the city and the Corps has unlocked an innovative approach for keeping vital commercial navigation traffic flowing on the Mississippi and empowers the city to help manage river sand in ways that benefit the community,” said Col. Karl Jansen, St. Paul District commander. “I’m proud of our Corps team for listening to community concerns and committing to identifying alternate approaches that are locally acceptable. Our proposed plan symbolizes the power of partnership.”
The updated management plan includes a win-win option referred to as a river sand partnership agreement, also known as a Section 217 agreement. The agreement, while non-binding, allows the Corps of Engineers to partner with the city of Wabasha to help manage the river sand.
A public meeting to discuss the new plan and to receive public comments is scheduled for 7 p.m., April 13, at the Wabasha-Kellogg High School, 2113 Hiawatha Drive E., Wabasha, MN.
A draft Environmental Assessment describing the river sand management and environmental impacts is available on our website at http://www.mvp.usace.army.mil/Home/PublicNotices.aspx. Copies are also available at the Wabasha Public Library (168 Alleghany Ave). Comments on the draft EA should be submitted no later than April 19. Persons submitting comments are advised that all comments received will be available for public review, to include the possibility of posting on a public website. Questions on the project or comments on the EA should be directed to Bob Edstrom, project manager at (651) 290-5026 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please address all correspondence on this project to District Engineer, St. Paul District, Corps of Engineers, ATTN: Regional Planning and Environment Division North; 180 Fifth Street East; Suite 700; St. Paul, Minnesota 55101-1638.