DEM to Host Feb. 22 Public Comment Hearing on Dredge Permit Application for Offshore Wind Project in Portsmouth

Published on Wednesday, February 07, 2024

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is announcing that its Office of Customer and Technical Assistance (OCTA) has scheduled a public comment hearing on Feb. 22, in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, on the application request of SouthCoast Wind Energy LLC for a State of Rhode Island Dredge Permit, that includes a State of Rhode Island Water Quality Certification pursuant to Section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act and in accordance with Rules and Regulations for Dredging and the Management of Dredge Materials and State Water Quality Regulations.

WHAT:           Public Hearing on Dredge Application Request of SouthCoast Wind Energy LLC

WHEN:           Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, 6-10 PM

WHERE:         Portsmouth High School Auditorium, 120 Education Lane, Portsmouth, Rhode Island

The applicant proposes the following:

  • Installation, operation, and maintenance of two underwater power export cables and associated communications cabling, each approximately 20.4 miles long.
  • Possible placement of fill (i.e., secondary cable protection) in state waters over the proposed underwater export cables to protect segments of the submarine export cables and existing utilities.
  • Installation of the underwater export cables at the Project’s proposed landfall construction areas utilizing horizontal directional drilling (HDD) with work including temporary excavation/dredging at eight offshore HDD pits at each of the two landfalls on either side of Aquidneck Island at Portsmouth, Rhode Island.

The proposed work involves dredging of approximately 1,867 cubic yards (CY) of sediment from eight HDD pits for a total of approximately 14,936 CY of dredging. The excavated material will be backfilled into the HDD pits. Cable burial methods may include a jet plow or jet sled type burial tool. Alternatively, cables may be laid on the seabed and trenched post-lay or a trench may be pre-cut prior to cable installation. The project location is the Sakonnet River and Mount Hope Bay in Portsmouth.

Written comments are currently being accepted.  The NOTICE period for this application ends at 4 PM on March 7, 2024.  Comments should be addressed to:

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management

Office of Customer & Technical Assistance

Attention: Ronald Gagnon, P.E.

235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908

Tel:  401-537-4013

Parties interested in or concerned with the above-mentioned matter are invited to be present at the above-mentioned time and place. Individuals requesting interpreter services for the hearing impaired must notify OCTA at 401-537-4029, 72 hours in advance of the hearing date.

Any questions related to this NOTICE should be directed to Ronald Gagnon in OCTA at (401) 537-4013.  Documents related to this notice may be reviewed at OCTA by appointment by calling 401-537-4029.

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