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In many areas of the world, contaminated sediments are being considered a major factor in the redistribution of toxic chemicals in the environment. While removal of contaminated sediments from the aquatic environment is often the preferred alternative for reducing the potential impacts of contaminated sediment, regulatory agencies and the public often express concern about contaminant releases during dredging operations. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to develop techniques for making a priori estimates of the sediment resuspension rates and contaminant releases during hydraulic and mechanical dredging activities. However, appropriate field data to verify and refine these techniques for a wide range of conditions are currently limited. Data needs include physical and operational characteristics of the dredge, waterway characteristics, sediment characteristics, sediment contaminant data, and water quality data collected during the dredging activity. This paper discusses key parameters required to improve the current predictive techniques and outlines the type of monitoring program needed to improve the comparability of the techniques to measured releases. The recommended monitoring program is derived from experiences with previous monitoring efforts. Planners of future dredging demonstrations are encouraged to collect similar data in order to advance the state of the art for predicting sediment and contaminant releases associated with dredging.
sediment, contaminant, dredging, sediment resuspension, monitoring, water quality, contaminant release, dredged material, suspended sediment
Environmental engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS