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Court Sides with Delaware Deepening Over the Environment

Date : Thu, 5 Jul 2012 17:09:04 -0400

For Immediate Release
July 3, 2012 Contact Jeff Tittel, 609-558-9100

Court Sides with Delaware Deepening Over the Environment The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against environmentalists on the challenge to the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) Delaware River Deepening project.This project is bad for the environment, a waste of tax payer money, and will not create permanent jobs.All this will do is dump dredge soils on the state of New Jersey and threaten our water supply from blasting of the river bottom.Eight of the nine dump sites required for the disposal of the dredged materials are in New Jersey, posing an increased risk to our ground water and the potential for reintroducing toxins from the dredged materials into the river.

"We are deeply troubled by this court decision because instead of reigning in a rouge agency like the Army Corps it allows them to go forward with an environmentally damaging project that has bypassed state and federal regulations.We believe Congress and the President should stop this project by taking away its funding," *Jeff Tittel, Director of New Jersey Sierra Club.* The New Jersey lawsuit is separate and is still moving forward.

"We hope the courts will see it differently when a sovereign state challenges the Army Corps for abuse of power and deliberately ignoring New Jersey law and permitting requirements," said Jeff Tittel. "We do not need the Army Corp to dump on New Jersey and threaten our water supply." The Delaware deepening will threatened New Jersey's water supply, fisheries, and would allow the Army Corps of Engineers to dump millions of tons of sediment much of which is contaminated on the state of New Jersey. The project requires blasting of bedrock at the bottom of the Delaware River, which could cause fissures in the bedrock and allow salt water intrusion into the underground aquifer and the drinking water. Farms in southern New Jersey depend on the underground aquifer for irrigation and salt water intrusion would cause significant crop damage, negatively impacting the state's farming industry. There is no concrete evidence of significant economic benefits to New Jersey from the proposed deepening project. However, significant evidence has been provided that there would be numerous risks to the state's farming, fishing, blue crab and oyster industries. There is also evidence of health risks that will result from the dredged material disposal sites. This project would waste tax payer's money, hurt the environment and will not create jobs.

"This project was rated by the Government Accountability Office as a waste of money and all it will do is threaten our drinking water.This is the wrong project in the wrong place.Instead the Army Corps should be working to clean up the river, restore wetlands, and protect people from flooding," said Jeff Tittel.

Kate Millsaps
Program Assistant
NJ Chapter of the Sierra Club
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