This serves as notification from the Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources of a request from Savannah Bulk Terminal, L.L.C. for a Coastal Marshlands Protection Act (CMPA) permit under Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A.) 12-5-280 et seq., to install and operate a silt suspension system at East Coast Terminal and Savannah Bulk Terminal, located on the Savannah River, Chatham County, Georgia. The proposed project is under 1/10 of an acre, and therefore may be considered a minor alteration of coastal marshlands under O.C.G.A. 12-5-280 et. seq.
The applicant owns East Coast Terminal and Savannah Bulk Terminal. The terminals are located approximately 2 miles downstream from the Talmadge Memorial Bridge. East Coast Terminal Berth 4 includes a 100ft. x 800ft. berth and the Savannah Bulk Terminal Berth 2 includes a 100ft. x 1000ft. berth. Both berths are maintained at a depth of -38ft MLW (-41.9ft. NAVD88). Currently the depths are maintained by agitation dredging. The silt suspension system is an alternative to maintenance dredging and provides the ability to maintain proper depths for the deep draft berths at the facilities.
The silt suspension system will consist of a series of submerged, near-bottom units, called SEDCON units, mounted along the face of the wharf. Each unit has a hydraulic motor-driven impeller that draws water downward into a bell mouthed intake and discharges it outward across the bottom of the berth. A computer operates each unit in sequence starting on the upstream end of the system. This creates a flow of water across the bottom of the berth. The units will be lowered and operated only during ebb tide so that sediments suspended in the water will be swept out of the berthing area and into the federal channel.
The applicant proposes to install a total of nine (9) SEDCON units placed approximately 162ft. to 237ft. apart at Berth 2 and Berth 4. Each individual unit with mounting equipment will impact approximately 33sq.ft. of tidal water bottoms. Total impacts for all nine (9) SEDCON units will be 297sq.ft. Six of the units will be installed on 360sq.ft. support platforms totaling 2,160sq.ft. Accessing the support platforms requires nine (9) 3ft. wide catwalks totaling 175ft. linear feet. Total impacts associated with the nine (9) catwalks will be 525sq.ft. The SEDCON units, platforms, and catwalks will require forty-five (45) 24in. diameter steel pipe piles to be installed with a vibratory driver for a total of 90sqft. of impacts.
As proposed the project will impact approximately 3,072 square feet (0.07-acres) of coastal marshlands.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to demonstrate that the project is not contrary to the public interest and that no feasible alternative sites exist. Impacts to coastal marshlands must be minimal in size. In passing upon the application for permit, the Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee shall consider the public interest: (1) Whether or not unreasonably harmful obstruction to or alteration of the natural flow of navigational water within the affected area will arise as a result of the proposal; (2) Whether or not unreasonably harmful or increased erosion, shoaling of channels, or stagnant areas of water will be created; and (3) Whether or not the granting of a permit and the completion of the applicants proposal will unreasonably interfere with the conservation of fish, shrimp, oysters, crabs, clams, or other marine life, wildlife, or other resources, including but not limited to water and oxygen supply.
A detailed public notice with drawings has been distributed and is available by visiting the Department of Natural Resources website: CoastalGaDNR.org under “Marsh & Shore Permits”
Please provide this office with substantive, site-specific comments as to why the proposed work should or should not proceed. Comments and questions concerning this proposed project should be submitted in writing and be submitted by the close of business on August 11, 2019 to Paul Tobler, Department of Natural Resources, 1 Conservation Way, Brunswick, Georgia 31520.