The Dredged Material Management Program (DMMP) is an interagency approach to the management of dredged material in Washington State. The Seattle District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) acts as the lead agency. Cooperating agencies are Region 10 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology), and the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Together the DMMP agencies are responsible for evaluating dredged material using the guidelines set out in the User Manual and for co-management of the DMMP disposal sites.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District
As the lead agency for the DMMP, the USACE Seattle District Dredged Material Management Office (DMMO) provides a "one-stop" location for project proponents. The DMMO is a team within the USACE Operations Division that provides technical support to both the USACE Navigation Section and the USACE Regulatory Branch.
The USACE Navigation Section manages federal navigation dredging projects by maintaining channels and other structural features for safe navigation in the Puget Sound region and on the Washington coast. Non-federal navigation projects interact with the USACE Regulatory Branch for their permitting process. The Seattle District Regulatory Program evaluates applications for permits for proposed activities—including dredging --in "Waters of the United States."
The DMMO coordinates with the USACE Regulatory Branch on dredging projects and provides assistance on sediment quality and dredged material management issues. Dredging project proponents planning to submit a Joint Aquatic Resource Permit Application (JARPA) to the USACE Regulatory Branch are encouraged to contact the DMMO beforehand for guidance on the sediment evaluation process. It is recommended that sediment characterization be performed prior to submitting the JARPA so that the public notice can include information about the suitability of sediment to be dredged for open-water disposal and the quality of the sediment surface to be exposed by dredging. This can facilitate a more efficient subsequent Regulatory permit experience. The DMMO coordinates project reviews with the other DMMP agencies and drafts suitability determinations and other documents for DMMP approval. DMMO is responsible for all coordination with the other DMMP agencies during the sediment evaluation process.
In addition to being the lead agency for the DMMP, the DMMO is also responsible for ESA compliance with respect to use of the multiuser disposal sites, including annual reporting to and periodic consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10
The primary role of the EPA representative is to evaluate dredged material using the guidelines set out in the User Manual and to manage the DMMP disposal sites. When a proposed DMMP dredging project is located within a CERCLA site, the EPA representative may also coordinate with the EPA remedial project manager for that site. An example is the Lower Duwamish Waterway CERCLA site, which is an active navigable industrial waterway. The EPA representative will coordinate DMMP projects with the remedial project manager to ensure that any proposed dredging project and dredged material evaluation are compatible with remedial investigations and remedies. The EPA representative may also be responsible for overall project review via the NEPA program and the CWA 404 permit review process. In some limited circumstances, the EPA representative may also be responsible for the federal Clean Water Act Section 401 water quality certification for a project.
Washington State Department of Natural Resources
The DNR representative handles the State's Site Use Authorization program, manages use of disposal sites and collects revenues that are applied to management of the disposal sites. In addition to sediment evaluations and management of the disposal sites, the DNR representative may advise DNR aquatic land managers, lease managers and port managers regarding issues related to sediment quality. The DNR representative is also responsible for acquiring and maintaining a shoreline permit for each of the multiuser disposal sites.
Washington State Department of Ecology
In addition to sediment evaluations and management of the disposal sites, the Ecology representative may also write the State’s Section 401 water quality certification for the project or advise the writer of the certification. The Ecology representative may also work with the remedial project manager of an adjacent MTCA cleanup site to ensure that the proposed dredging project and dredged material evaluation are compatible with remedial investigations and remedies at the cleanup site. The Ecology representative is responsible for ensuring that State regulations are complied with, including the WA State Sediment Management Standards and WA State Water Quality Standards.