The U.S. EPA issued its final OK for Massachusetts to construct a 28-acre marine terminal in New Bedford Harbor. The primary purpose of the project will be to serve offshore renewable energy facilities, specifically wind, and accommodate future international shipping.
The project consists of about seven acres of filled waters and 21 acres of upland area, as well as the navigational dredging of 47 acres of the harbor. The dredging also addresses about 225,600 cubic yards of PCB-contaminated sediment.
In order to mitigate for the loss of a freshwater wetland and salt marsh, intertidal and subtidal habitat (including winter flounder spawning habitat), and more than 9 million shellfish due to the impacts of dredging and/or filling, EPA’s final determination commits the state to construct:
– 1.02 acres of salt marsh restoration and creation at River’s End Park adjacent to the Achushnet River;
– 22.73 acres of winter flounder spawning habitat in the outer harbor;
– 4.47 acres of intertidal habitat creation or enhancement in the outer harbor;
– 14.91 acres of shallow subtidal enhancement in the outer harbor; and
– Replacement shellfish beds by planting more than 24 million seed shellfish in 10 areas of the outer harbor over 10-15 years.
“This facility makes Massachusetts the East Coast hub for offshore wind development while strengthening New Bedford’s position as a port city,” Gov. Deval Patrick said. “The construction of the terminal helps launch a new clean energy industry in Massachusetts that will create hundreds of jobs, enhance our energy security, and reduce fossil fuel emissions.”