NEW BEDFORD – The federal Environmental Protection Agency today approved the city’s South Terminal project, helping to clear the way for development of the 28.45-acre site as a wind-turbine staging area.
The work will include navigational dredging of the harbor; restoration of salt marshes, shellfish beds and flounder habitat; and a construction of a Confined Aquatic Disposal (CAD) cell for safe storage of hazardous polychlorinated biphenyls, according to a statement issued this afternoon by the EPA.
When completed, city planners say the South Terminal will enable the port to handle heavy parts associated with offshore wind turbines, allowing New Bedford to become part of a broader effort by Massachusetts to capture expected growth in the wind power industry.
“This facility makes Massachusetts the East Coast hub for offshore wind development while strengthening New Bedford’s position as a port city,” said Gov. Deval Patrick in a statement.
EPA determined that the South Terminal project, consisting of approximately 7 acres of filled waters and 21 acres of upland area, as well as the navigational dredging of 47 acres of the harbor associated with that construction, is both protective of human health and the environment and meets the substantive requirements of applicable or relevant and appropriate federal and state environmental standards, the EPA said in a news release.
EPA said it made this final determination after carefully reviewing the extensive submissions provided by the commonwealth, as well as the public comments received during and after the public hearing held in New Bedford on July 24.
“EPA is confident that the work needed to construct the South Terminal in New Bedford can be done in a way that protects the health of local citizens, and protects New Bedford’s environment,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office, in a statement.
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