Dredging permit process inches forward

Published: Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 09:39 AM.

The Port St. Joe Port Authority is seeking a little help from some friends.

While the application process for a permit to dredge the shipping channel crawls forward, Port Authority board members, entering a fiscal year with scant funds dissipating, are trying to remain viable.

The application for the permit process hit a major milestone last week with a pre-application meeting with state and federal agencies.

Port director Tommy Pitts said that most importantly the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection were represented among more than two dozen staff members from various agencies.

“On the regulatory side we got a positive response,” Pitts said.

He said since a shipping channel has long existed in Port St. Joe and was until the 1980s operational and maintained, the dredging is seen as a “fairly straightforward dredging project” as there are a number of known factors to the area and channel.

In addition, inland disposal sites are identified and there has been discussion that any suitable material would be used for beach nourishment on St. Joseph Peninsula.

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