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Humboldt Open Ocean Disposal Site (HOODS) Documents

Periodic dredging is necessary for maintaining safe navigation in the Humboldt Bay area, and an environmentally appropriate disposal site for the dredged sediment is crucial to the area’s maritime economy. The Humboldt Open Ocean Disposal Site (HOODS) was designated by EPA in 1995 for this purpose, and EPA Region 9 periodically monitors HOODS to ensure that unexpected or significant negative effects are not occurring from past or continued use of the disposal site and to verify regulatory and permit compliance. This monitoring shows that while there have been no significant adverse effects from disposal, the site is reaching full capacity and needs to be expanded in order for dredging to continue to provide for safe navigation in Humboldt Bay. Therefore EPA published a proposed rule in the Federal Register on May 29, 2020 along with a number of supporting documents including a detailed Environmental Assessment. EPA accepted public comments on these documents through June 29, 2020. The comments received, and EPA’s responses, are provided in the new Appendix E to the Environmental Assessment. The proposed rule and all of the supporting documents are available via the links at right and below.

Based on the information in the Environmental Assessment and consideration of public comments received, EPA proposes to adopt “Alternative 1” (expansion of the HOODS boundary by 1 nautical mile to the west and north). EPA will publish a final rule in the Federal Register this fall to implement Alternative 1. EPA anticipates the expansion of the HOODS boundary to be effective in time for dredging activities beginning in 2021.

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