The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Impatience grows as dredge permit process continues to drag on

 


Wahkiakum County officials and residents expressed frustration with efforts to obtain permits needed to deposit dredge spoils on eroding beaches.

The county and its consulting engineer have been working for two years to establish a 10-year beach nourishment program for eroding beaches on Puget Island and at Cape Horn.

Last week, officials had hoped that a Thursday teleconference with US Army Corps of Engineers officials would see the completion of the permitting process.

It didn't happen that way.

Corps officials said more information was needed, county Commissioner Dan Cothren reported Tuesday.

The county's consultant is working on the needed points, Cothren said, and, "we're going to see what comes out of the consultant's progress in the next few days."

Cothren added that the Corps had accepted the county's Section 408 application, which covers the potential impacts in neighboring locations of spoils deposits.

"It's just a few other things," Cothren said.

Residents of Cape Horn and East Sunny Sands are hoping for beach nourishment this year because erosion has already started impacting structures and trees and other plantings.

"They pull out [the dredge] in November or December, and here we are in June," said Cape Horn resident Randy Shroyer. "We need to put pressure on them some how. The dredge is already in the area."

The county and the consultant are frustrated with the process; as soon as they complete one task, they are required to supply something new, Cothren said.

"I'm not going to put up with dragging on stuff," Cothren said. "We give them the information they want, but stuff gets added, and I'm not liking what's going on there.

"Maybe we'll have to have a face-to-face conference with them, not a teleconference, with representatives of the congresswoman and two senators.

"We'll submit what they want and then see what happens. If they ask for yet more, then . . . "

Cothren said the county knows the detail is important.

"They (the Corps) tell you that it all has to be right or you'll get sued by the environmental community," he said. "We know how that works."

 

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