The committee also met with the San Francisco Estuary Institute’s Melissa Foley to discuss the Regional Monitoring Program’s (RMP) fee schedule for dredgers and their current budget deficit. Due to the current economic uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the RMP has decided to postpone any fee increases for 2021 (which will be based on the volume of in-Bay disposal in 2020) and will revisit the fee structure the following year to address the budget deficit. To get involved in these topics and others that the Dredging & Beneficial Reuse Committee is involved in, join us for our next meeting on June 15.
The BPC Dredging & Beneficial Reuse Committee met this month with US EPA’s Brian Ross. Brian provided a comprehensive history of the Long Term Management Strategy (LTMS) Management Program including the selection of the current dredged material management alternative (40% beneficial reuse, 40% ocean, and 20% in-Bay), and the extent to which the distribution goals are being met. Considering the significant decrease in the suspended sediment load in the Bay, the committee also discussed with Brian the potential viability of transitioning to another alternative identified in the original LTMS EIR/EIS (40% beneficial reuse, 20% ocean, and 40% in-Bay) to allow for more in-Bay disposal. The current approach has roughly been achieving 40% in-Bay disposal since the start of the LTMS. However, it may take additional research on the topic in order to have a better understanding the dynamics of the system change caused by the decreased sediment load and if additional in-bay disposal above 20% would now be less detrimental and potentially more beneficial to the system. Brian along with Brenda Goeden of BCDC confirmed that as LTMS Project Managers, their respective agencies would likely be reluctant to consider an LTMS EIR/EIS amendment at this time.