Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Seashore) is announcing the availability of a draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the dredging of Oregon Inlet with a Dare County dredge. The draft FONSI is available for public review for a 15 day period.
Dare County is seeking a Special Use Permit from the Seashore to utilize a privately-owned hopper dredge in the same manner and under the same conditions as what is currently authorized for the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to perform maintenance dredging of small and isolated, regularly occurring shoals within Oregon Inlet.
Oregon Inlet, including the submerged lands, is situated within Seashore boundaries. The USACE regulatory control over this project includes the dredging and discharge of dredged material within the confines of the Oregon Inlet corridor and the disposal areas, as a federally authorized navigation channel.
In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Park Service (NPS) is adopting the Environmental Assessment (EA) the USACE drafted for their Section 404 permitting in which the NPS was a cooperating agency. The USACE and NPS reviewed Dare County’s applicant prepared January 2019 Oregon Inlet Channel Maintenance Utilizing a New Privately-Owned Hopper Dredge draft EA that examined alternative actions and environmental impacts associated with the proposed project to dredge Oregon Inlet with a privately-owned hopper dredge. The statements and conclusions reached in this draft FONSI are based on documentation and analysis provided in the USACE EA with supplemental analysis provided in the Dare County EA to support the NPS decision. To the extent necessary, relevant sections of the USACE’s EA are incorporated in the FONSI.
Comments are to be submitted electronically at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/CAHA_OregonInlet, the preferred method, or mailed to Superintendent, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, 1401 National Park Drive, Manteo, NC 27954. Deadline to submit comments is May 25, 2020.