Framework for Dredged Material Management
3.0 FRAMEWORK FOR DETERMINING
This framework for determining environmentally acceptable placement
alternatives for dredged material can be applied nationwide and is relatively general, but
comprehensive. This framework addresses a wide range of dredged material
characteristics, dredging techniques, and management alternatives. Because this
framework provides national guidance, flexibility is necessary. It should be used as a
technical guide to evaluate the commonly important factors to be considered in managing
dredged material in an environmentally acceptable manner.
The overall technical framework for developing environmentally acceptable
alternatives for the discharge of dredged material is illustrated in Flowchart 3-1. As
indicated in the flowchart, the framework determines the environmental acceptability of
any of several alternatives considered. The framework presented is consistent with and
incorporates the evaluations conducted under NEPA, CWA, and MPRSA and consists of
the following broad steps, as illustrated in Flowchart 3-1:
Evaluation of dredging project requirements.
Identification of alternatives.
Initial screening of alternatives.
Detailed assessment of alternatives.
The framework logic is discussed in detail in the following paragraphs. The
respective paragraph numbers are referenced as appropriate in the blocks of Flowchart
3-1. Additional portions of the framework pertaining to the detailed assessments of open-
water disposal, confined disposal, and beneficial use alternatives are illustrated in
Flowcharts 3-2, 3-3, and 3-4 and are described in Chapters 4, 5, and 6, respectively.
3.2 Evaluation of Dredging Project Requirements
3.2.1 Dredging Needs
The need for dredging and the requirements for disposal must be established.
Information gathered at this stage would include the dredging location(s), required
volumes to be dredged, etc. Within the context of NEPA, the initial impact assessment
for dredging projects relates to the purpose and need for the proposed action in the case
of new work or continued viability (purpose, need, and effect of new information on