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.
Environmental Assessment: Humboldt Open Ocean Disposal Site (HOODS) (PDF)(97 pp, 4 MB,
April 15, 2020)
EPA is accepting written comments on this Environmental Assessment through June 29, 2020. Comments should be submitted via one of the methods listed above.
Appendix A: Synthesis Report for 2008 and 2014 HOODS Monitoring (PDF)(18 pp, 1 MB,
June 27, 2019)
Humboldt Open Ocean Disposal Site (HOODS) 2008 and 2014 Monitoring Synthesis Report. Proposal to Expand EPA’s Humboldt Open Ocean Disposal Site (HOODS) and Identify a Beneficial Nearshore Sand Placement Site (NSPS).
Appendix B: Public Scoping Meetings, and Resource Agency and Tribal Consultations - Humboldt Open Ocean Disposal Site (HOODS) (PDF)(114 pp, 22 MB,
July 2019 - April 2020)
This Appendix includes information about public and agency scoping meetings and agency and Tribal consultations regarding the proposed expansion of HOODS, including: Scoping meeting comments; Informal ESA consultation with USFWS; Informal ESA, MMPA, and EFH consultations with NMFS; Coordination with potentially affected tribes.
Appendix C: Previous (2006) Site Management and Monitoring Plan - Humboldt Open Ocean Disposal Site (HOODS) (PDF)(21 pp, 2 MB,
This Site Management and Monitoring Plan (SMMP) provided management and monitoring strategies for disposal in HOODS through the end of 2020. It is replaced by the Updated (2021) SMMP beginning on January 1, 2021.
Appendix D: Draft Site Management and Monitoring Plan (SMMP) - Humboldt Open Ocean Disposal Site (HOODS) (PDF)(22 pp, 2 MB,
April 23, 2020)
Proposed Updated Site Management and Monitoring Plan (SMMP) for the expanded Humboldt Open Ocean Disposal Site (HOODS). Comments should be submitted via one of the methods listed above.
Appendix E: Response to Comments On the Draft EA and Proposed Rule (PDF)(5 pp, 177 K,
All comments received, with EPA’s responses to each, on the Proposed Rule and draft Environmental Assessment to expand the Humboldt Open Ocean Disposal Site (HOODS).
HOODS Expansion Presentation: Public Scoping Meetings (PDF)(45 pp, 5 MB,
August 5, 2019)
Presentation from the August 5, 2019 public scoping meetings for the proposed expansion of the Humboldt Open Ocean Disposal Site (HOODS).
HOODS Expansion Presentation: Information Workshop for the California Coastal Commission (PDF)(17 pp, 2 MB,
August 8, 2019)
Presentation for the information workshop relating to the proposed expansion of the Humboldt Open Ocean Disposal Site (HOODS).
Humboldt Open Ocean Disposal Site (HOODS) Interactive Map (PDF)(1 pg, 20 MB,
Map of seafloor images in and near the EPA-designated Humboldt Open Ocean Disposal Site (HOODS) taken in August, 2014. Background colors inside the blue square indicate water depth, and the smaller red square shows the current boundary of HOODS. To see both downward-looking and cross-sectional views of the seafloor at any monitoring station, hover your cursor over the red dots. If you are unable to view the images in your browser, save a copy to your desktop and view with Acrobat Reader.
(1995) Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) (PDF)(308 pp, 53 MB,
Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for Designation of an Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site off Humboldt Bay, California.