Contaminated Sediments in Ports and Waterways

Cleanup Strategies and Technologies

Committee on Contaminated Marine Sediments

Marine Board

Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1997



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--> Contaminated Sediments in Ports and Waterways Cleanup Strategies and Technologies Committee on Contaminated Marine Sediments Marine Board Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1997

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--> NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the panel responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The program described in this report is supported by Cooperative Agreement No. DTMA91-94-G-00003 between the Maritime Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Academy of Sciences. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Contaminated sediments in ports and waterways : clean-up strategies and technologies / Committee on Contaminated Marine Sediments, Marine Board, Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems, National Research Council. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-309-05493-1 (alk. paper) 1. Contaminated sediments—Management. 2. Marine sediments. 3. Harbors. 4. Waterways. I. National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Contaminated Marine Sediments. TD878.C665 1997 363.739’4—dc21 96-52050 CIP Copyright © 1997 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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--> COMMITTEE ON CONTAMINATED MARINE SEDIMENTS HENRY J. BOKUNIEWICZ, co-chair, State University of New York at Stony Brook KENNETH S. KAMLET, co-chair, Linowes and Blocher, Silver Spring, Maryland W. FRANK BOHLEN, University of Connecticut, Groton J. FREDERICK GRASSLE, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey DONALD F. HAYES, University of Utah, Salt Lake City JAMES R. HUNT, University of California, Berkeley DWAYNE G. LEE, Parsons Infrastructure and Technology Group, Pasadena, California KENNETH E. MCCONNELL, University of Maryland, College Park SPYROS P. PAVLOU, URS Greiner, Inc., Seattle. Washington RICHARD K. PEDDICORD, EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Hunt Valley, Maryland PETER SHELLEY, Conservation Law Foundation, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts RICHARD SOBEL, Clean Sites, Inc., Alexandria. Virginia LOUIS J. THIBODEAUX, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge JAMES G. WENZEL, NAE, Marine Development Associates, Inc., Saratoga, California LILY Y. YOUNG, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey Liaison Representatives SABINE APITZ, Naval Command, Control, and Ocean Surveillance Center, San Diego, California CHARLES C. CALHOUN, U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, Mississippi MILES CROOM, National Marine Fisheries Service, Silver Spring, Maryland ROBERT ENGLER, U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, Mississippi KENNETH HOOD, Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C. EVIE KALKETENIDOU, Maritime Administration. Washington, D.C. DANIEL LEUBECKER, Maritime Administration, Washington, D.C. FRANK MANHEIM, U.S. Geological Survey, Woods Hole, Massachusetts JANET MORTON, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia ANNA PALMISANO, Office of Naval Research, Arlington, Virginia CARL SOBREMISANA, Maritime Administration, Washington, D.C. MARK SPRENGER, Environmental Protection Agency, Edison, New Jersey CRAIG VOGT, Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C. LARRY ZARAGOZA, Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.

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--> Staff JOSEPH L. ZELIBOR, JR., Study Director KRISTIN CHURCHILL, Program Associate DELPHINE D. GLAZE, Administrative Assistant (since June 1995) RICKY PAYNE, Administrative Assistant SHARON RUSSELL, Administrative Assistant LAURA OST, Editor WYETHA B TURNEY, Production Assistant

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--> MARINE BOARD JAMES M. COLEMAN, NAE, chair, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge JERRY A. ASPLAND, vice-chair, California Maritime Academy, Vallejo BERNHARD J. ABRAHAMSSON, University of Wisconsin, Superior BROCK B. BERNSTEIN, EcoAnalysis, Ojai, California LILLIAN C. BORRONE, NAE, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey SARAH CHASIS, Natural Resources Defense Council, New York CHRYSSOSTOMOS CHRYSSOSTOMIDIS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge BILIANA CICIN-SAIN, University of Delaware, Newark BILLY L. EDGE, Texas A&M University, College Station JOHN W. FARRINGTON, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts MARTHA GRABOWSKI, LeMoyne College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Cazenovia, New York JAMES D. MURFF, Exxon Production Research Company, Houston, Texas M. ELISABETH PATÉ-CORNELL, NAE, Stanford University, Stanford, California DONALD W. PRITCHARD, NAE, State University of New York at Stony Brook and Severna Park, Maryland STEVEN T. SCALZO, Foss Maritime Company, Seattle, Washington MALCOLM L. SPAULDING, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett KARL K. TUREKIAN, NAS, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut ROD VULOVIC, Sea-Land Service, Charlotte, North Carolina E G. "SKIP" WARD, Shell Offshore, Houston, Texas Staff CHARLES A BOOKMAN, Director DONALD W. PERKINS, Associate Director DORIS C. HOLMES, Staff Associate

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--> The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is interim president of the National Academy of Engineering The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr Bruce M Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and interim vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

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--> Preface BACKGROUND Contaminated marine sediments threaten ecosystems, marine resources, and human health. Sediment contamination also can have major economic impacts when controversies over risks and costs of sediment management interfere with the regular and periodic need to dredge major ports Approximately 95 percent (by weight), or 1.4 billion tons, of total U.S. trade passes through dredged ports (Maritime Administration, 1994). In a previous report, the National Research Council (NRC) (1989) examined the extent and significance of contaminated marine sediments, the state of practice of cleanup and remediation, and management strategies. Although contamination was a serious concern at many sites, the report found that remedial action was rare. Several barriers to remediation were identified, including insufficient data for the comprehensive listing and prioritization of contaminated sites, the lack of widely accepted techniques for identifying and assessing contamination in marine sediments, poor documentation of direct risks to human health and the ecosystem, a dearth of new U.S.-developed dredging technology, and legal limitations on the direct use of foreign technology. The report concluded that periodic reviews of site assessment procedures and cleanup technologies were needed and that management decisions should be based on a comparison of risks, costs, and benefits to both the environment and public health. The 1989 NRC report enhanced public understanding of the widespread and important, but poorly quantified, problem of contaminated sediments and suggested how it might be addressed. The report assisted several states, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric

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--> Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to address the issue of contaminated sediments in the context of other responsibilities. The U.S. Congress responded by mandating, in the Water Resources Development Act of 1992 (P.L. 102-580), an inventory of contaminated sediment sites. There are four principal reasons to manage contaminated marine sediments: (1) to identify and clean up threats to public health and wildlife; (2) to meet water and environmental quality standards; (3) to identify and clean up sites that have the potential to cause wider environmental harm; and (4) to ameliorate dredging controversies, particularly concerning the designation of disposal sites for contaminated dredged material. A strategy for achieving these objectives must strike a balance among various risks and among risks, costs, and benefits. Choices that must be made from a wide range of tactics are hampered by substantial uncertainties. The present study is an attempt to assist in the decision making and to address the key management and technology issues associated with the remediation of contaminated marine sediments. SCOPE OF THE STUDY After discussions with the EPA, NOAA, USACE, and the U.S. Navy, the NRC convened a committee under the auspices of the Marine Board to assess the nation's capability for remediating contaminated marine sediments and to chart a course for the development of management strategies. The objectives of the study were: to assess the best management practices and current and emerging remediation technologies that have been tried for reducing adverse environmental impacts of contaminated sediments. These approaches include biological, chemical, and physical methods, such as removal technologies, in situ and ex situ treatment, containment (including capping), and natural recovery. Methods were to be reviewed with regard to scientific and engineering feasibility, practicality, cost, efficiency, and effectiveness. to appraise interim control measures for contaminated sediment sites. Interim control methods can be technology-based (e.g., systems that halt the deposition or spread of contaminants) or management-oriented (e.g., controlling other uses of contaminated areas). Interim control measures were to be identified and appraised to determine their applicability to classes of problems, their affordability, and their practicality. to examine how information about risks, costs, and benefits can be used to guide decision making concerning the management of contaminated sediments to assess existing knowledge and to identify research that is critical for enhancing the use of existing technologies in contaminated sediment management and in developing new technologies

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--> The committee determined that the effectiveness of contaminated sediment management practices and remediation technologies is influenced by a number of external factors, including laws and regulations, site assessment methods, and efforts to control the source(s) of contamination. Therefore, the committee judged it necessary to include these topics in its assessment, but only to the extent that they support best management practices. Evaluating the significance of natural spatial and temporal variations and identifying "clean" versus "contaminated" sediments are outside the purview of this study. Also, a detailed comparison of the biogeochemical and biological ''availability" of contaminants with a concentration-driven process is beyond the scope of this report. These are, however, important topics that might be addressed elsewhere. The study was carried out by a carefully constituted committee and staff. Committee members were selected to ensure a wide range of expertise and to include a broad spectrum of viewpoints. Members represented the fields of coastal, geotechnical, and systems engineering; site remediation and bioremediation; port engineering and operations; aquatic toxicology; physical, chemical, geological, and biological oceanography; geology; environmental law and policy; and economics. (Biographies of the committee members are provided in Appendix A.) In keeping with NRC policy, potential biases that might accompany expertise vital to the study were not excluded. There is no universally accepted definition of a "contaminated" sediment. The 1989 NRC report defined the term to mean a sediment that contains chemical concentrations that pose a known or suspected threat to the environment or human health. The methods for determining if a risk exists are imperfect, so the "acceptable" level of contamination is subject to debate. Regulatory agencies, from the local to the international level, have adopted or are producing both qualitative and quantitative definitions of contaminated sediments. For purposes of this report, the committee assumed that methodological thresholds for determining when contamination exists are available and are used. The committee did not assess the adequacy of standard practices beyond pointing out how they may influence risk management. STUDY METHOD The full committee met seven times over a three-year period. The committee reviewed relevant reports and was briefed on federal activities related to contaminated sediments. Information was solicited from expert researchers and practitioners from federal, regional, state, and local government agencies; port authorities; industry; and public interest groups. The committee also visited the U.S. Army Engineer, Waterways Experiment Station (WES) in Vicksburg, Mississippi, where the committee was briefed on research activities, and to the Port of Tacoma in Washington, where the committee solicited expert testimony

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--> regarding an ongoing dredging and remediation project. The committee also held workshops on sediment removal and remediation technologies (Thoma, 1994) and on interim control measures. In addition to the full committee meetings, various committee members developed particular aspects of the report either on their own or by working in small groups. Two committee members prepared a review of the regulatory framework for contaminated sediments (Appendix B), while others developed the case histories of six ongoing or recently completed remediation projects (summarized in Appendix C). Committee members with special expertise prepared primers on the application of two decision-making tools to improve contaminated sediments management (Appendix D and Appendix E). REPORT ORGANIZATION The audience for this report includes federal, state, and local government agencies; U.S. Congress and congressional staff; policymakers and project managers; members of the technical community associated with the various aspects of the remediation of contaminated sediments; and other members of the marine or coastal community, including the general public, who have a stake in the decision-making process. Chapter 1 outlines the forces driving the remediation of contaminated sediments, the risk management process, and the unique challenges to be overcome—all factors that affect the choice of management techniques and technologies. Chapter 2 describes a conceptual management approach to the problem, from the identification of a contaminated site through the long-term monitoring of project results, as well as tools for assessing trade-offs among risks, costs, and benefits that can improve decision making. In chapters 3, 4, and 5, specific topics are examined with the aim of enhancing the prospects for success. Chapter 3 discusses two important influences on decision making-regulatory realities and stakeholder interests—that must be mastered by project proponents. Chapter 4 describes how proper attention to site-specific considerations, including source control and site assessment, can support cost-effective management The heart of the report is Chapter 5, which contains an assessment of interim and long-term controls and technologies on the basis of maturity, applicability, effectiveness, limitations, cost, and research needs. Chapter 6 synthesizes the information and analyses in the previous chapters and presents conclusions and recommendations. The appendices include a review of the regulatory framework for contaminated sediments (Appendix B), a summary of the case studies (Appendix C), a primer on the use of cost-benefit analysis to improve management (Appendix D), and a description of decision analysis and its application in a test case (Appendix E).

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--> ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The committee wishes to thank the many individuals who contributed their time and effort to this project, whether in the form of presentations at meetings, correspondence, or telephone calls. Invaluable assistance was provided to both the committee and the Marine Board staff by representatives of federal and state agencies as well as private companies in various sectors. In particular, the committee acknowledges the support of the following individuals: Sabine Apitz, U.S. Navy, Naval Command, Control and Ocean Surveillance Center; Charles C. Calhoun, U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station (WES); Miles Croom, NOAA, National Marine Fisheries Service; Robert Engler, U.S. Army Engineer WES; Kenneth Hood, EPA, Office of Research and Development; Evie Kalketenidou, Maritime Administration (MARAD), Office of Port and Intermodal Development; Daniel Leubecker, MARAD, Office of Technology Assessment; Frank Manheim, U.S Geological Survey (USGS), Branch of Atlantic Marine Geology; Janet Morton, USGS, Office of Energy and Marine Geology; Anna Palmisano, U.S. Navy, Office of Naval Research, Biological Science and Technology Program; Carl Sobremisana, MARAD, Office of Port and Intermodal Development; Betsy Southerland, EPA, Office of Science and Technology (OST); Mark Sprenger, EPA, Office of Emergency and Remedial Response, Craig Vogt, EPA, Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds; Larry Zaragoza, EPA, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Remedial Response; and Christopher Zarba, EPA, OST. For assistance with technical aspects of the report, special thanks also go to Steve Garbaciak and James Hahnenberg of the EPA; Dan Averett, James Clausner, Norm Francingues, C. R. Lee, Jan Miller, Michael Palermo, and Joe Wilson of the USACE; Greg Hartman, Greg Hartman Associates; Ancil Taylor, Bean Dredging Corporation; and Ian Orchard and Carol Ancheta, Environment Canada. Finally, the chairmen recognize members of the committee, not only for their hard work during meetings and in reviewing drafts of this report but also for gathering information and writing sections of the report. REFERENCES Maritime Administration (MARAD). 1994. A Report to Congress on the Status of the Public Ports of the United States, 1992-1993. MARAD Office of Ports and Domestic Shipping. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Transportation National Research Council (NRC). 1989. Contaminated Marine Sediments Assessment and Remediation. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press Thoma, G. 1994. Summary of the Workshop on Contaminated Sediment Handling, Treatment Technologies, and Associated Costs held April 21-22, 1994. Background paper prepared for the Committee on Contaminated Marine Sediments, Marine Board. National Research Council. Washington, D. C.

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--> Contents     Executive Summary   1 1   The Challenge   15     Driving Forces for Remediation,   16     Risk Management Process,   22     Unique Challenges Posed by Contaminated Sediments,   23     Summary,   28     References,   29 2   Making Better Decisions: A Conceptual Management Approach   30     Conceptual View of the Management of Contaminated Sediments,   30     Trade-Offs in Risks, Costs, and Benefits,   34     Summary,   42     References,   43 3   Forces Influencing Decision Making   44     Regulatory Realities,   46     Stakeholder Interests,   52     Summary,   60     References,   61 4   Site-Specific Considerations   62     Sources of Contamination,   62     Contaminant Transport and Availability,   64

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-->     Site Assessment: Approach, Methods, and Procedures,   67     Summary,   77     References,   77 5   Interim And Long-Term Technologies And Controls   80     Introduction,   80     Interim Controls,   84     Technologies for In Situ Management,   91     Sediment Removal and Transport Technologies,   104     Technologies for Ex Situ Management,   116     Evaluating the Performance of Technologies and Controls,   137     Research, Development, Testing, and Demonstration,   141     Comparative Analysis of Technology Categories,   142     References,   147 6   Conclusions And Recommendations   154     Improving Decision Making,   155     Improving Remediation Technologies,   161     Improving Project Implementation,   168     Appendices         A Biographical Sketches Of Committee Members   175     B Regulatory Framework For The Management And Remediation Of Contaminated Marine Sediments   181     C Case Histories Of Representative Remediation Projects   225     D Using Cost-Benefit Analysis In The Management Of Contaminated Sediments   239     E Using Decision Analysis In The Management Of Contaminated Sediments   257

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--> Boxes, Figures, and Tables BOXES 2-1   Evaluating Sediment Contamination: Effects-Based Testing and Sediment Quality Criteria,   38 4-1   Basic Tenets of Site Assessment,   69 5-1   Importance of Cost in Technology Assessment,   81 5-2   Process of Defining a Remediation System,   86 5-3   Selecting Ex Situ Controls,   117 D-1   Simplified Examples of Cost-Benefit Calculations,   250 FIGURES 1-1   Regulation of contaminated sediments,   17 1-2   Volume and costs of dredging by the USACE and industry, 1963 to 1994,   20 2-1   Conceptual overview of the management of contaminated sediments,   31 2-2   Conceptual illustration of the trade-offs involved in cost-benefit analysis,   40 4-1   Conceptual site assessment protocol,   68 5-1   Process of defining a remediation system,   83 5-2   Remediation technologies subsystem structure,   85 5-3   Conceptual illustration of containment, disposal, and natural recovery technologies,   131 D-1   Conceptual illustration of the trade-offs involved in cost-benefit analysis,   242

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--> D-2   Example of cost-benefit analysis with discrete projects,   245 D-3   Costs and benefits of reducing body burden,   246 E-1   Predicted average PCB concentration as a function of area dredged (to a depth of I meter), assuming sediments are dredged in order of decreasing PCB concentration,   269 E-2   Influence diagram of a test case,   273 E-3   Expected values of alternative dredged-volume decisions,   278 E-4   Dredged-volume decision analysis,   279 E-5   Expected values of alternative dredged-value decisions with modified model parameters,   281 E-6   Effect of modified model parameters on maximum dredged volume decision,   282 E-7   Switchover analysis for the annual resource damage cost,   283 TABLES S-1   Comparative Analysis of Technology Categories,   13 1-1   Time Lapse between Identification of a Problem and Implementation of a Solution: Examples from Six Case Histories,   26 5-1   Natural Recovery,   93 5-2   In-Place Capping,   96 5-3   Immobilization (solidification/stabilization),   98 5-4   In Situ Chemical Treatment,   98 5-5   In Situ Bioremediation,   101 5-6   Soil Washing and Physical Separation,   119 5-7   Chemical Separation and Thermal Desorption,   122 5-8   Immobilization,   124 5-9   Thermal and Chemical Destruction,   126 5-10   Ex Situ Bioremediation,   128 5-11   Confined Disposal Facility,   133 5-12   Contained Aquatic Disposal,   135 5-13   Landfills,   138 5-14   Qualitative Comparison of the State of the Art in Remediation Technologies,   143 5-15   Comparative Analysis of Technology Categories,   144 B-1   Interrelationships of Sediment Regulatory Authorities in Selected Scenarios,   215 C-1   Selection and Evaluation Criteria for Six Case Histories,   226

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--> Acronyms ARAR applicable or relevant and appropriate regulatory requirement ARCS Assessment and Remediation of Contaminated Sediments CAD contained aquatic disposal CDF confined disposal facility CERCLA Comprehensive Environmental Response, Cleanup. and Liability Act CFR Code of Federal Regulations CRADA cooperative research and development agreement CWA Clean Water Act CZMA Coastal Zone Management Act D&D dredging and disposal (or placement) DMMP dredged material management plan DOE Department of Energy DOI Department of the Interior EA environmental assessment EIS environmental impact statement EPA Environmental Protection Agency ESA Endangered Species Act FDA Food and Drug Administration FONSI finding of no significant impact

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--> GDP gross domestic product GPS global positioning system LA load allocation MBDS Massachusetts Bay Disposal Site MCY millions of cubic yards MPRSA Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act MT metric tons NAAQS national ambient air quality standards NEPA National Environmental Policy Act NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NPL National Priorities List NRC National Research Council NSI National Sediment Inventory OMC Outboard Motor Corporation OST Office of Science and Technology (EPA) PCB polychlorinated biphenyl RCRA Resource Conservation and Recovery Act RHA Rivers and Harbors Act ROD record of decision R&D research and development SARA Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act SITE Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluations SQC sediment quality criteria TCLP toxic characteristics leaching procedure TMDL total maximum daily load USACE U.S. Army Corps of Engineers USGS U.S. Geological Survey WES U.S. Army Engineer, Waterways Experiment Station WLA waste load allocation WRDA Water Resources Development Act

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--> Contaminated Sediments in Ports and Waterways

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--> Port of Mobile Dredging enables ports to maintain adequate depths in harbors and channels and thereby attract commercial shipping, which provides goods, jobs, and other benefits for area residents. The photograph shows a hydraulic dredge drawing up sediment from a shipping channel in Mobile, Alabama. Photograph courtesy of U S Army Corps of Engineers

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