MA - Quincy, Mass. Dredging Company to Pay Penalty for Violations of the Ocean Dumping Act
BOSTON – Under a recent settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Cashman Dredging & Marine Contracting Co., LLC, based in Quincy, Mass., will pay a penalty of $185,000 for alleged violations of the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA, also known as the Ocean Dumping Act).
EPA alleged that the violations occurred during the transport of dredged material from New Bedford Harbor in Mass. to the Rhode Island Sound Disposal Site (RISDS). On one occasion, a disposal vessel operated as part of the project dumped its load of dredged material 2.6 miles outside the authorized disposal site and on three separate occasions, dumped it in the wrong locations within the RISDS. The company's noncompliance was verified in part by the electronic monitoring devices onboard the disposal vessels. The company was cooperative with EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) during the enforcement investigation and case settlement negotiations and has committed to making changes in its operations to ensure compliance with MPRSA in the future.
"Proper disposal of dredged material plays a vital part in protecting our oceans," said EPA New England Acting Regional Administrator Deborah Szaro. "EPA works to enforce federal ocean dumping requirements to protect the marine environment while maintaining safe maritime navigation."
This action was the result of a coordinated investigation by EPA and the USACE, which issues permits for the disposal of dredged material. Under the Ocean Dumping Act, EPA designates dredged material disposal sites for long-term use. Before designating these sites, EPA conducts an environmental review process, including providing opportunities for public participation. Each designated site has its own site management and monitoring plan. Disposal is strictly prohibited outside of these sites because of the potential of harm to the marine environment and the difficulty of assessing what the harmful impacts may be.