Virtual Public Meetings Set for Corpus Christi Channel Dredging
Virtual public meetings to discuss the deepening of the Corpus Christi Channel in Port Aransas began June 8. A second meeting was June 11, and two more are planned for Tuesday, June 16, and Thursday, June 18, by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Port of Corpus Christi, which is already dredging to 54 feet from 47 feet in the channel, wants to go even deeper. It is proposing to dig to 80 feet to allow for very large crude carriers, or VLCCs, fully laden with oil and gas supplies. All meetings will be held at 4 p.m. and can be accessed at this link.
The scoping meetings are to solicit public comments “to better enable us to make a reasonable decision on factors affecting the public interest,” reads the special public notice put out by the Corps concerning Army permit number SWF-2019-00067.
Cooperating agencies involved in the Environmental Impact Statement for this project include the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Coast Guard.
While the project does not include widening the channel, “some minor incidental widening of the channel is expected to meet side slope requirements and to maintain the stability of the channel,” reads the public notice.
Opponents to the project warn that the dredging will damage sensitive environments in an area known for its wildlife. The Port Aransas Conservancy cites the area’s reliance on tourism and natural resources for its economy as a reason to stop further development in the area by the Port of Corpus Christi.
The online meetings will provide information about the project as well as receive public input. Oral and written statements will be accepted via:
• the virtual comment portal
• emailing PCCAQ-channel-EIS@publicinput.com
• calling 855-680-0455
• texting 855-680-0455
Speakers have three minutes each to make a statement.
Written comments may be sent to Mr. Jayson Hudson, USACE Galveston District Regulatory Branch, P.O. Box 1229, Galveston, TX 77553-1229. Emailed comments may be sent to Hudson at SWG20190067@usace.army.mil. Attachments should be in .doc, .docx, .pdf, or .txt formats.
Deadline for receiving comments after the meetings is July 3.
For more information, call Hudson at 409-766-3108.
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