Dredging and dredge spoils in Maine are regulated by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the US Army Corps of Engineers.  Dredge spoils end up either on land or out to sea in designated sites offshore. In either case, analytical testing for pollutants before disposal is required.  Maine Environmental Laboratory is certified to perform testing for regulatory compliance for dredge spoils.

Maine Solid Waste Management Rules Chapter 418  (7/8/18 revision) describes required testing for the use of dredge spoils as construction fill:

Reduced Procedure Beneficial Use of De-watered Dredge Material As Construction Fill Standards.

(1)  Dredge material permitted for use under this section must not be used in residential settings, playgrounds, or school yards, and must be completely and permanently covered by a concrete or asphalt paved surface, or by 6 inches of a compacted soil material.

(2)  In order to characterize dredge material intended for beneficial use, representative samples shall be collected and analyzed prior to dredging in conformance with E.P.A. SW-846. A minimum of 4 samples per site or 1 sample per acre shall be collected unless an alternative sampling plan is otherwise approved by the Department; information on sediment depth represented by each sample shall be provided. Samples shall have been collected, and analyzed within the holding times for each parameter, within 5 years of application submittal. However, if there have been significant spills, discharges, or disruptions in sediment deposition within the 5 year period, sampling and analysis is required to evaluate current conditions. Composite samples for analysis may be approved by the Department on a case-by-case basis. Analysis must be for the following parameters:

(a)  Total metals (mg/kg dry wgt.) including Arsenic (As), Cadmium (Cd), Chromium (Cr), Lead (Pb), and Mercury (Hg);

(b)  Semi-volatiles listed in paragraph (3), below (mg/kg dry weight);

(c)   PCBs and dioxin TEQ unless waived by the Department, and organopesticides from commercial and agricultural ponds greater than 1/4 acre (mg/kg dry weight); and,

(d)  Other parameters as required by the Department.

(3)  Dewatered dredge material which is non-hazardous and which contains constituent levels less than the following levels (totals) may be beneficially used in accordance with the provisions of this sub-section:

Arsenic (As)                                                                        < 16[1] mg/kg
Cadmium (Cd)                                                                   <  22mg/kg
Chromium (Cr+6)                                                             <  3.6mg/kg
Lead (Pb)                                                                             <  200 mg/kg
Mercury (Hg)                                                                     <  27 mg/kg
Benz[a]anthracene                                                         < 13 mg/kg
Benzo[b]fluoranthene                                                   < 13 mg/kg
Benzo[k]fluoranthene                                                   < 134 mg/kg
Benzo[a]pyrene                                                               < 1.3 mg/kg
Chrysene                                                                             < 1340 mg/kg
Dibenz[a,h]anthracene                                                 < 1.3 mg/kg
Indeno[1,2,3-c,d]pyrene                                               < 13mg/kg
PCBs                                                                                      <  2.7 mg/kg
Dioxin TEQ                                                                          < 55.8 pg/g

(4)  Total chromium or lead levels exceeding 100 mg/kg, or mercury levels exceeding 4 mg/kg indicate that the dredge material may be hazardous waste. Further analysis of those parameters for TCLP is necessary.

Reduced Procedure Beneficial Use of De-watered Dredge Material As Beach Nourishment Fill Standards.

(1)  Dredge material permitted for use under this section must be from a single dredging project, and the dredge material must come from a similar source (i.e. marine dredge material to a marine beach).

(2)  In order to characterize dredge material intended for beneficial use as beach nourishment fill, representative samples shall be collected and analyzed prior to dredging in conformance with E.P.A. SW-846. A minimum of 4 samples per site or 1 sample per acre shall be collected unless an alternative sampling plan is otherwise approved by the Department; information on sediment depth represented by each sample shall be provided. Samples shall have been collected, and analyzed within the holding times for each parameter, within 5 years of application submittal. However, if there have been significant spills, discharges, or disruptions in sediment deposition within the 5 year period, sampling and analysis is required to evaluate current conditions. Composite samples for analysis may be approved by the Department on a case-by-case basis. Analysis must be for the following parameters:

(a)  Total metals (mg/kg dry wgt.) including Arsenic (As), Cadmium (Cd), Chromium (Cr), Lead (Pb), and Mercury (Hg);
(b)  Semi-volatiles listed in paragraph (3), below (mg/kg dry weight);
(c)   PCBs and dioxin TEQ unless waived by the Department, and organopesticides from commercial and agricultural ponds greater than 1/4 acre (mg/kg dry weight); and,
(d)  Other parameters as required by the Department.

(3)  De-watered dredge material which is non-hazardous and which contains constituent levels less than the following levels (totals) may be beneficially used in accordance with the provisions of this sub-section:

Fines                                                                                     < 15%
Arsenic (As)                                                                        < 16[2] mg/kg
Cadmium (Cd)                                                                   < 22mg/kg
Chromium (Cr+6)                                                             <  3.6 mg/kg
Lead (Pb)                                                                             <  200 mg/kg
Mercury (Hg)                                                                     <  27mg/kg
Benz[a]anthracene                                                         <  13mg/kg
Benzo[b]fluoranthene                                                   <  13mg/kg
Benzo[k]fluoranthene                                                   <   134 mg/kg
Benzo[a]pyrene                                                               <  1.3 mg/kg
Chrysene                                                                             <  1340 mg/kg
Dibenz[a,h]anthracene                                                 < 1.3mg/kg
Indeno[1,2,3-c,d]pyrene                                               <  13mg/kg
PCBs                                                                                      <  2.7mg/kg
Dioxin TEQ                                                                           <  55.8 pg/g

(4)  Total chromium or lead levels exceeding 100 mg/kg, or mercury levels exceeding 4 mg/kg indicate that the dredge material may be hazardous waste. Further analysis of those parameters for TCLP is necessary.

(5)  If analysis demonstrates that the dredge material contains levels of the constituents at or above those listed in paragraph (3), above, an applicant may submit a demonstration that the proposed beach nourishment project does not pose a significant risk to public health or an unreasonable threat to the natural environment. A demonstration must include the following elements:

(a)  Representative samples of the sand/soil in the area of the beach where dredge material is proposed to be used must be collected and analyzed in conformance with E.P.A. SW-846. A minimum of 4 samples within the area to be nourished (or 1 sample per acre if the area is greater than 4 acres) shall be collected unless an alternative sampling plan is otherwise approved by the Department; information on the sampling locations (horizontal and vertical) shall be provided. Samples shall have been collected, and analyzed within the holding times for each parameter, within 5 years of application submittal. However, if there have been significant spills, discharges, or disruptions in sediment deposition within the 5 year period, sampling and analysis is required to evaluate current conditions. Composite samples for analysis may be approved by the Department on a case-by-case basis. Analysis must be for all constituents listed in paragraph (3) where the dredge material contains levels at or above the standards in paragraph (3);

(b)  A discussion of the risks and drawbacks associated with use of the dredge material, including consideration that use of the dredge material may cause degradation at other areas when erosion of the dredge material occurs; and,

(c)  An evaluation of the risk that the proposed beneficial use of the dredge material poses to public health or the natural environment at the site where it is proposed to be used.

 

Resources

Maine DEP Overview or Dredging Regulations and Sampling Protocol in Maine: Issue Profile: Applications to Dredge or to Dispose of Dredged Material in Coastal Waters

Maine Solid Waste Management Rules- Chapter 418, Beneficial Use of Solid Wastes (7/8/18 Revision): http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules/06/096/096c418.docx

DEP Application for Reduced Procedures Application for Beneficial Use of Dredge Material: https://www1.maine.gov/dep/waste/solidwaste/documents/418rpdrm.pdf

Maine Natural Resources Protection Act (NRPA) homepage on the Maine DEP site: http://maine.gov/dep/land/nrpa/index.html  and good overview of NRPA: http://maine.gov/dep/land/nrpa/ip-nrpa.html

A NRPA permit may be required for "dredging, bulldozing, removing or displacing soil, sand, vegetation or other materials; draining or otherwise dewatering; filling, including adding sand or other material to a sand dune; or any construction, repair or alteration of any permanent structure..."  See the NRPA Permit Application here: https://www1.maine.gov/dep/land/nrpa/nrpabook.pdf

 

Regional Overview

About Ocean Dumping in EPA Region 1 (New England)
https://www.epa.gov/ocean-dumping/managing-ocean-dumping-epa-region-1#dm

Dredging in Portland harbor, 2004. [Photo from www.dredgingcontractors.org]

Dredging in Portland harbor, 2004. [Photo from www.dredgingcontractors.org]

WHERE DO OFF-SHORE DREDGE SPOILS GO?

Dredge disposal site 10 miles off Portland, Maine.  Photo links to EPA Region 1 "Site Management and Monitoring Plan" (pdf)