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Manual for Beneficial Reuse of Processed Dredge Material
A new comprehensive how-to resource on processing and using dredged sediments for construction and remediation
NJDOT Office of Maritime Resources project manager Scott Douglas teamed up with CAIT's Soil and Sediment Management Laboratory (SSML) to develop a comprehensive manual for integrating process dredged material (PDM) into common construction applications.
The 124-page guide, Processing and Beneficial Use of Fine-Grained Dredge Material: A Manual for Engineers, covers research, development, and implementation of dredged material management techniques. It guides engineers, dredging professionals, and project managers on detailed procedures and necessary considerations for handling and using PDM. The broad objective of the publication is to demystify the technical feasibility of repurposing PDM.
The manual walks users through sediment and dredge sampling, testing, and evaluation; geo-chemical and geo-technical characteristics of sediment typically found in New York/New Jersey waterways; processing systems; methods for transport, processing, stabilization, decontamination, and placement; and quality control protocols.
Approximately 10 million cubic yards of accumulated sediment is dredged out of New Jersey and New York channels each year. For scale, the volume of the Empire State Building is about 1.37 million cubic yards.
New Jersey views dredge material as a valuable natural resource and has developed a sustainable management program that encourages reusing dredge for habitat or beach restoration, brownfield cover, or as highway and other construction fill--all of which are far preferable to hauling and storing it in confined disposal facilities. Reusing dredged material isn't a new idea, but it's a considerably under-utilized alternative to disposal.
In general, unmodified waterway sediments lack the geotechnical properties required for structural landfill. How much sand, silt, and/or clay is contained in the material--and whether or not it's contaminated--influences where it can be used and how it should be properly prepared for its end application. Creating a how-to resource on best ways to process and use dredged sediments provides contractors and site owners with the knowledge they need to take advantage of this environmentally and economically beneficial practice.
The PDM manual includes success stories and lessons learned, including a case study on Jersey Gardens Mall--the first beneficial reuse project in New Jersey--where approximately 800,000 cubic yards of PDM was used to grade the site.
Another case study recounts construction of the Bayonne Golf Club. Soil and ground water within the site were contaminated due its industrial history. Environmental remediation measures included a perimeter containment system, leachate and gas collection systems, and placement of an engineered cap. A total of about 5 million cubic yards of fill was used to contour the site. In the end, the former Bayonne landfill was transformed into an exclusive club where initiation fees are upward of $500,000.
A third case study covers a project identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) Bureau of Abandoned Mines as an opportunity to demonstrate remediation technology. Bark Camp Run, a creek that runs through a 1,200-acre abandoned mine site in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, was rendered completely sterile by acid runoff from the mine and surface drainage. Seven years after using 425,000 cubic yards of sediment to cover and regrade the exposed mine highwall, there were no detectable contaminants from the mining operation in either surface or ground water and the creek and surrounding ecosystem were restored.
Processing and Beneficial Use of Fine-Grained Dredge Material is the first of three planned volumes on the subject. A manual on reusing dredged material stored in confined disposal facilities and another volume specifically addressing habitat restoration will come later.
(July 25, 2013)