Current Issues

SMARM 2021 marked the 33rd Sediment Management Annual Review Meeting of the multi-agency Dredged Material Management Program (DMMP).  Originally referred to as the Puget Sound Dredged Disposal Analysis (PSDDA) program, the now-statewide DMMP continues to evolve with current science and policy.  This page is dedicated to documentation of current issues as the evolution continues. 



Contact the DMMO

Seattle District (CENWS)
Dredged Material Management Office
4735 E. Marginal Way S. Bldg. 1202
Seattle, WA 98134-2388

March 7th Monitoring Framework Workshop

This workshop is a follow-up meeting to the June 2018 Monitoring Ideas Brainstorming Workshop.  It was held on March 7th, 2019 from 9am to 12pm at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Seattle District (Building 1202 at Federal Center South).  The draft agenda, directions and draft revised framework are available below:

- Draft Agenda for March 7th Monitoring Framework Workshop

- Draft revised monitoring framework (2-20-2019)

Over the past few months, the DMMP agencies have taken the comments and input received at the Monitoring Ideas Workshop (summarized below) and generated a draft revised monitoring framework for the disposal sites. This is a work-in-progress, and we need your input to help make it better! Please submit your comments to by April 12, 2019.

Monitoring Ideas Workshop Summary: June 20, 2018

The DMMP Agencies held a public workshop on June 20th, 2018 to discuss ideas for monitoring of the non-dispersive open-water disposal sites in Puget Sound.  The workshop was hosted by the Port of Tacoma at the Fabulich Center in Tacoma from 9am - 12pm.  There were 21 attendees from ports, environmental consultants, laboratories, tribes, and state agencies and 8 representatives from the four DMMP agencies.  Click on links below for PDF documents.

Brief Workshop Summary

Challenges and issues with changing the monitoring plan

  • High stakes and uncertainty
  • Over-complication of the issues
  • Continued confusion on regulatory requirements (e.g. Site Condition 2, Sediment Management Standards, regional background, etc.)
  • Do we lack relevant data (e.g. onsite tissue, paired sediment/tissue data) or not?
    • Potentially use existing data to compare with background, as Windward did with PAHs
  • Are we asking the right monitoring questions?

How can we prevent future issues?

  • Front end bioaccumulation like the rest of the nation does (e.g. test more project sediments)
    • What are relevant species?
    • What would be relevant target tissue levels (TTLs)?

Components of a successful design

  • Clearly define success/fail endpoints
  • Defensible, sufficiently protective, cost effective
  • Take overall Puget Sound health into account, not just the disposal sites
  • Clear and concise guidance
  • Meaningful links between monitoring and project evaluation
    • concern that TTLs would be used to develop really low sediment screening levels (SLs) as was done in Oregon

Ideas for redesigning the monitoring plan

  • See markup of disposal site monitoring framework table, pages 13-15 here  
  • Routine versus special studies
  • Take advantage of other monitoring program data that are out there
  • Possible role of incremental sampling methodology (ISM) for bioaccumulatives questions
  • Define role of regional background
  • Would measuring point be sediment or tissue?
  • Calculate risk using site specific reasonable maximum exposures (RMEs)
    • What species are really present/using site?
    • Use TTLs, or calculate to sediment SLs?
  • Use of cores to provide temporal/vertical information
  • Data collected on and off site should be comparable (same species, same sediment depths, etc.)
  • Conduct bioaccumulation before and after disposal season
  • More use of weight-of-evidence approach