Dredging permit process inches forward

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

“The one hurdle that caused the greatest concern,” Pitts said, was whether a Corps of Engineers study might have to be undertaken.

“We are addressing that aggressively,” Pitts said, noting it was largely a question of whether the process of permitting the project would be pushed through the “bureaucracy” or the application could be fast-tracked.

Pitts said the intention was to engage Congressman Steve Southerland and Sen. Bill Nelson most prominently to work with and lobby the Corps to move the application process along.

“We gained confidence from the environmental side, but the Corps bureaucratic process was discouraging,” Pitts said.

“Now the tasks have been defined (for the permit application) they can be negotiated for completing those tasks (with the port’s engineers) and pursuing the permitting.”

The source of the discouragement over the potential for the Corps bureaucracy to swallow the project comes from timing.

A detailed study of the dredging project would require as much as a year, possibly more.

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