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Release Date: 4/16/1997
Contact Information: BCDC press contact - Steve Goldbeck (415) 557-8786 SFRWQCB press contact - Wil Bruhns - (510) 286-0838 SLC press contact - Mary Howe (916) 574-1839 USEPA press contact - Dave Schmidt - (415) 744-1578 USACE press contact - David Dwinell (415) 977-8471

     A new "one-stop shop" to cut red tape for dredging projects in San Francisco Bay is demonstrating good results while ensuring environmental protection.  A review by the participating agencies of the "Dredged Material Management Office" or "DMMO" found that the program has processed over 60 applications for dredging more than 4.3 million cubic yards of material (roughly equivalent to 430,000 dump truck loads) in the last year and a half.  Applicants using the DMMO fill out one application instead of four, as was the case in the past.  The five agencies participating in the DMMO then jointly review the applications and supporting information at bi-weekly meetings before issuing their respective permits.

     A noteworthy finding of the report is that only three percent of the dredged material failed standardized testing for open-water disposal.  It had been widely assumed that up to twenty percent of Bay dredged material would fail such testing.

     The DMMO is a joint program of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, the State Lands Commission (SLC), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (U.S. ACE), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA).  A pilot program was initiated to determine whether and how a permanent DMMO should be established.  The report prepared by the participating agencies evaluated the status of the approximately 18 month-old pilot project.

Quotes from each agency:

"This project has created a virtual one-stop permit application for Bay dredging," said Will Travis, Executive Director of BCDC.  "I don't know of any place else where you can apply for all your state and federal permits by filling out one application."

"The DMMO is a good example of what can be achieved through cooperation. It shows why the Bay Area is in the forefront of moving from traditional regulatory approaches to more cooperative approaches to problem solving," said Loretta Barsamian, Executive Officer, SFRWQCB.

"We're committed to an efficient, environmentally sound review of all dredging applications, and in the long run helping applicants find beneficial reuse options for their dredged material," said Alexis Strauss, director of U.S. EPA's Western Regional Water Division.

"The Dredged Material Management Office in the San Francisco Bay Area can serve as a model for how federal and local agencies can synchronize the administration of their regulatory responsibilities to protect the environment while minimizing the administrative burdens on permit applicants," stated Lieutenant Colonel Richard Thompson, Commander of the San Francisco District of the U.S. ACE.

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