Port Authority takes first steps on dredging channel

Published: Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 09:35 AM.

The goal, Perry said, would be to submit an application that is complete and does not require the agencies to come back with a request for additional information.

“Hatch Mott MacDonald worked on the permit for the canal dredging and got no (Requests for Additional Information), which caught the attention of the Florida Ports Council,” Pitts said, adding Ports Council staff was impressed with the quick permitting.

Receiving any RAIs, Perry said, is what would bog down the process, and the Port of Port St. Joe is attempting to permit and fund dredging within the next 18-24 months.

“This is a pretty significant endeavor,” Perry said. “It is a very aggressive (timeline). We want to be able to vet out issues and refine the scope (quickly).”

The urgency on the seagress study is that such studies must be completed between March and September and reviewed by a National Marine Fisheries Service field survey in September.

If the port misses that window a seagrass survey and in turn approval from the National Marine Fisheries Service could not be completed until 2014.

“If you miss those windows it pushes you a year off,” Perry said.

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