The following is the text of a news release from the Northwest Seaport Alliance:
(SEATTLE) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is seeking public comment on the Seattle Harbor Navigation Improvement Project Draft Feasibility Report and Environmental Assessment released Tuesday. Comments will be accepted through Aug. 31.
The Army Corps of Engineers and the Port of Seattle have agreed on a tentatively selected plan of 57 feet mean lower low water (MLLW) for both the East and West waterways. This depth will allow the Port of Seattle, part of the Northwest Seaport Alliance, to handle the current and future generations of ultra-large containerships.
“The Port of Seattle, part of the Northwest Seaport Alliance, is a strategic gateway for goods entering the U.S. and vital for Northwest exports,” said John Creighton, Port of Seattle Commission president and the Northwest Seaport Alliance co-chairman.
“Large ships with deep drafts are being deployed globally and on the West Coast. Authorization of a depth of 57 feet will preserve our gateway’s ability to provide sufficient depth for the future fleet of ships,” said Connie Bacon, Port of Tacoma Commission president and the Northwest Seaport Alliance co-chairwoman.
The study developed an array of alternatives for deepening the East and West waterways. It performed extensive economic, technical and environmental analysis and modeling to evaluate the alternatives. The selected plan maximizes the national economic development benefits, is technically feasible and environmentally sustainable.
The environmental assessment identifies and analyzes the environmental effects of the alternatives for deepening, incorporates environmental concerns into the decision making process and determines whether further environmental analysis is necessary.
The Port of Seattle, a partner in the Northwest Seaport Alliance, is the non-federal project sponsor working with the Corps to complete this feasibility study. Public comments on the proposed plan and alternatives will be considered as the Corps works toward completing the navigation improvement plan. Members of the public are encouraged to visit the Corps’ website to view the tentatively selected plan and supporting documents.
Comments on the Draft Feasibility Report and Environmental Assessment may be submitted by email, at the upcoming public meeting or in written form.
Comments will be accepted via email to SeattleHarbor@usace.army.mil or can be mailed to:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
P.O. Box 3755
Seattle, Washington 98124-3755
All mailed comments must be postmarked by Aug. 31.