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Counties of Carbon, Schuylkill, Lehigh, Berks, Lebanon, Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, Delaware, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS: PA-1, PA-2, PA-6, PA-7, PA-8, PA-11, PA-13, PA-15, PA-16, PA-17

APPROPRIATION / PHASE: Continuing Authorities / Feasibility

BUSINESS PROGRAM: Regional Sediment Management, Ecological Restoration

AUTHORITY & DESCRIPTION: This study is authorized under Section 204 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1992, as modified by Section 2037 of WRDA 2007.  This authority allows USACE to collaborate with a State in the preparation of a comprehensive State or regional sediment management (RSM) plan within the boundaries of the State.  RSM provides the basis for a systems wide approach to sediment management to quantify and manage sediment sources and sinks, minimize dredging requirements and more effectively utilize dredged material as a resource.  As a planning and management tool, RSM is a means to identify and involve multiple stakeholders to integrate data on sources of dredged sediment, demands for sediment, and impacts on commerce and the environment to both promote the beneficial uses of dredged sediment and to streamline dredging projects.  Using this approach, project managers can use RSM as a tool to decrease overall lifecycle dredging costs while utilizing dredged material in a more environmentally sensitive and cost effective manner. This is a 100% Federally funded study-only authority.

The project will develop a regional sediment management (RSM) plan for the Schuylkill River watershed to identify and evaluate opportunities to beneficially use dredged material from existing Corps disposal sites to restore streams degraded by acid mine drainage from abandoned mines.

BACKGROUND: Sediment management practices have historically been used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) on a project by project basis.  This method of management has often resulted in unanticipated consequences since natural systems do not always coincide with project, jurisdictional, or state boundaries or other activities impacting sediment sources.  Some of these consequences have included erosion or sedimentation in nearby areas, inefficient planning for dredged material management, and missed opportunities to more cost-effectively manage sediment resources.  Recently, however, the USACE and other federal and state resource agencies have begun to look at sediment management from a regional perspective.  This systems based approach is aimed at increasing cooperation and coordination among agencies, adaptive management across multiple projects based on shared goals, improved management through the application of best available science and engineering practices, and implementation of policies to achieve maximum long-term economic, social, and environmental benefits.

PROJECT GOALS:  The purpose of this project is to develop a regional sediment management (RSM) plan for the Schuylkill River watershed.


DATE OF PROJECT AGREEMENT: None required       

NON-FEDERAL SHARE: None required