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Technical Guidelines for Environmental Dredging of Contaminated Sediments released

In September 2008, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Research and Development Center released a new guidance, Technical Guidelines for Environmental Dredging of Contaminated Sediments (PDF) (302 pp, 4.8 MB, About PDF). This document is the first comprehensive technical guidance to address environmental dredging, from the initial site evaluation stage through operating methods and effectiveness measures.

Contaminated sediments are not only a significant environmental problem, but can also pose human health risks and lead to fish consumption advisories. Environmental dredging aims to remove as much contaminated sediment as efficiently as possible while minimizing short-term environmental impacts such as the re-suspension of contaminated sediments or the introduction of excess residuals into the waterway. The EPA?s Superfund program uses environmental dredging as a component of most remedies when cleaning up contaminated sediments.

While dredging has been done for centuries to increase and maintain navigation depths in waterways, the concept of dredging for environmental reasons is a relatively new one. Much of the publicly available information on environmental dredging has been developed in the past 15 ? 20 years. To date, detailed information on planning and designing such dredging projects has been primarily site specific, and no comprehensive technical guidelines existed. This report is intended to fill that gap.


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