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Wilmington Harbor North NEPA Environmental Assessment

Environmental, Socioeconomic, Historic, and Cultural Impacts Analysis

Diamond State Port Corporation (DSPC) required regulatory consulting support to develop an Environmental Assessment (EA) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the Land Transfer of the Wilmington Harbor North (WHN) Confined Disposal Facility (CDF) from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to DSPC. The Wilmington Harbor North CDF was utilized by USACE for over 100 years. The site has reached its capacity to service USACE for the volumes of dredge material that USACE used the site for without major upgrades. Because USACE has other options for dredge material disposal, continued use / upgrading WHN CDF was not economically feasible for USACE. The Property was identified as excess property and was slated for conveyance to the State of Delaware in WRDA 2020, Section 356(d).

In accordance with NEPA, as well as 33 CFR Part 230 (USACE NEPA Regulations), Kleinschmidt prepared an EA that analyzed the impacts of the No Action Alternative (no transfer to DSPC) and the Proposed Action. (transfer to DSPC) As part of this process, a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Report was conducted by Environmental Standards, Inc.

Kleinschmidt compared the impacts of the two options on the following 13 resources: socioeconomics (including environmental justice); land use; geology and soils; hydrology; wetlands; water quality; aquatic resources; terrestrial resources; protected species; cultural resources; air quality; hazardous, Toxic, and radioactive waste; and climate change. We also evaluated whether the Proposed Action is compliant with 16 environmental laws and regulations, either independently or under the umbrella of NEPA. Kleinschmidt prepared two iterations of the EA: (1) Draft EA; and (2) Final EA. As a result of the EA, we also prepared a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the USACE.

The NEPA EA document is a federal document, with USACE as the Lead Federal Agency. Kleinschmidt prepared the EA on behalf of USACE. The Final EA was published June 2023.