|Submitted||Jan. 29, 2016|
To Whom It May Concern:
This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:
Records about the scheduling and/or planning of future dredging of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.
The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.
In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.
I'll gladly forward your FOIA request through our Office of Counsel, but I want to clarify one thing first: are you talking about dredging to maintain the canal at its current authorized depth of 35 feet, or dredging to deepen it?
The reason I ask is that we get federal O&M (Operation and Maintenance) funding every year for the project "Intracoastal Waterway, Delaware River to Chesapeake Bay, Delaware and Maryland". This includes the C&D Canal proper, about 16 miles, plus about 20 additional miles of Baltimore Harbor Approach Channels in the Elk River and Upper Chesapeake Bay. We maintain the whole 450-foot-wide channel to its authorized depth of 35 feet; in most years, all the actual dredging takes place in the approach channels only, as the canal tends to be "self-scouring" and thus require no additional maintenance. Scheduling/planning is done on a year-to-year basis.
On the other hand, there are no plans to deepen this channel or any part of it. There was a C&D Canal 40-foot Deepening Project that reached as far the feasibility study phase, but it went no further because the benefit-to-cost ratio fell below one (i.e. it no longer made economic sense to proceed with design and construction), and has stayed below one ever since, with no indication of heading back up. The nonfederal sponsor, the Maryland Port Administration, withdrew its support of the project, and it was finally deauthorized (i.e. "taken off the books") several years ago.
Anyway, if you could let me know which of the above applies to your request, I will proceed accordingly.
Thanks for the prompt response. I'm only interested in documents related to maintenance dredging of the canal proper.
Thanks, I'll forward accordingly.
I'm unsure what type of documents you are looking for. When this request came into the office, we had no definite plans to conduct any dredging for this fiscal year. Since that time, we have received some funding for limited dredging. This will limit our work to either the approach channel vicinity of Poole's Island, or in the canal proper under the Chesapeake City Bridge and a portion of the basin. We have no documents for either option at this point.
Feel free to call me to further discuss the issue. I've been advised by my Office of Counsel that a request of this sort does not have to go through Freedom of Information channels, so we may be able to provide the information you desire in a expedient manner.
Project Manager, C&D Canal
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