Public Hearing on Proposed Project at V.T. Halter in Pascagoula

BILOXI, Miss. – A public hearing will be held on Sept. 12, 2012 at 6 p.m. at the Pascagoula Public Library located at 3214 Pascagoula Street in Pascagoula on a proposed project at V.T. Halter Marine in Pascagoula. The public hearing will not be a question and answer session, but will be a medium for concerned parties to make comments about the proposed project for the public record.

V.T. Halter Marine, Inc. has filed an application with the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) requesting permission to conduct regulated activities under the provision of the Coastal Wetlands Protection Law Act, Title 49, Chapter 27, Mississippi Code of 1972. The applicant is proposing shipyard improvements that will involve upland excavation, dredging, and bulkhead construction at their existing shipyard located on the west bank of Bayou Casotte in Pascagoula, Miss.

More information on the application can be obtained at the MDMR office at 1141 Bayview Avenue, Biloxi, MS, 39530, on the MDMR website, or by calling 228-374-5000.

The applicant is proposing modifications to a previous permit for work at their shipyard located on Bayou Casotte in Pascagoula, Jackson County, MS. The applicant proposes to replace approximately 1,600 linear feet of existing bulkhead along a keyhole slip and perform maintenance dredging within the slip measuring 773’ X 266’ from an average depth of 20 feet below mean low water (mlw) to a depth of 42 feet below mlw. Approximately 261,000 cubic yards of material will be removed from the existing slip and has been approved for use at the Round Island Beneficial Use Site (RIBUS). In addition, the slip will be widened by approximately 60 feet and will result in the excavation of approximately 50,553 cubic yards of material which will be placed in on-site uplands.

The applicant also proposes additional work in support of the previously authorized impacts associated with dredging and installation of a dry dock. The 4:1 dredge slope and a section of bulkhead were omitted from the previous application and will be needed to stabilize the waterbottoms near the 62.5-foot dredge depth.   This modification will require that: approximately 10,075 square feet of waterbottoms be filled, approximately 410 linear feet of bulkhead be constructed, and an additional 25,369 cubic yards of material be dredged and designated for beneficial use at the RIBUS.  

Finally, the applicant is requesting authorization to place a total of 282,000 cubic yards of material approved for beneficial use, which is currently staged in on-site uplands, into the slip as a temporary staging area in preparation for pumping it to the RIBUS.

The applicant has requested and will be required to justify a variance from Chapter 8, Section 2, Part III.O.1 of the Mississippi Coastal Program (MCP), which reads in part: “Permanent filling of coastal wetlands because of potential adverse and cumulative environmental impacts is discouraged” and a variance from Chapter 8, Section 2, Part III.D.3, of the Mississippi Coastal Program (MCP) which reads in part: “Vertical face structures shall be aligned no further waterward than mean high tide….”

In compliance with Section 401 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251, 1341), as amended by PL 95-217, the applicant will request certification from the Office of Pollution Control that the above mentioned activity will be in compliance with applicable provisions of Section 301 (33 U.S.C. 1311), Section 302 (33 U.S.C. 1312), Section 303 (U.S.C. 1313), Section 306 (U.S.C. 1316), and Section 307 (U.S.C. 1317) of the Act and appropriate requirements of the State Law.

The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is dedicated to enhancing, protecting and conserving marine interests of the state by managing all marine life, public trust wetlands, adjacent uplands and waterfront areas to provide for the optimal commercial, recreational, educational and economic uses of these resources consistent with environmental concerns and social changes. Visit the DMR online at www.dmr.ms.gov.

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