Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Region 1: EPA New England

Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972

40 CFR § 228.5. General criteria for the selection of sites.

  1. The dumping of dredged material into the ocean will be permitted only at sites or in areas selected to minimize the interference of disposal activities with other activities in the marine environment, particularly avoiding areas of existing fisheries or shellfisheries, and regions of heavy commercial or recreational navigation.
  2. Locations and boundaries of disposal sites will be so chosen that temporary perturbations in water quality or other environmental conditions during initial mixing caused by disposal operations anywhere within the site can be expected to be reduced to normal ambient seawater levels or to undetectable contaminant concentrations of effects before reaching any beach, shoreline, marine sanctuary, or known geographically limited fishery or shellfishery.
  3. If at any time during or after disposal site evaluation studies, it is determined that existing disposal sites presently approved on an interim basis for ocean dumping do not meet the criteria for site selection set forth in Sections 228.5 through 228.6, the use of such sites will be terminated as soon as suitable alternate disposal sites can be designated.
  4. The sizes of ocean disposal sites will be limited in order to localize for identification and control any immediate adverse impacts and permit the implementation of effective monitoring and surveillance programs to prevent adverse long-range impacts. The size, configuration, and location of any disposal site will be determined as a part of the disposal site evaluation or designation study site.
  5. USEPA will, wherever feasible, designate ocean dumping sites beyond the edge of the continental shelf and other such sites that have been historically uses.

40 CFR § 228.6 Specific Criteria for Site Selection.

In the selection of disposal sites, the following factors will be considered:

  1. Geographical position, depth of water, bottom topography and distance from coast
  2. Location in relation or breeding, spawning, nursery, feeding, or passage areas of living resources in adult or juvenile phases
  3. Location in relation to beaches and other amenity areas;
  4. Types and quantities of wastes proposed to be disposed of, and proposed methods of release, including methods of packing the waste, if any
  5. Feasibility of surveillance and monitoring
  6. Dispersal, horizontal transport and vertical mixing characteristics of the area, including prevailing current direction and velocity, if any
  7. Existence and effects of current and previous discharges and dumping in the area (including cumulative effects)
  8. Interference with shipping, fishing, recreation, mineral extraction, desalination, fish and shellfish culture, areas of special scientific importance and other legitimate uses of the ocean
  9. The existing water quality and ecology of the site as determined by available data or by trend assessment or baseline surveys,
  10. Potentiality for the development or recruitment of nuisance species in the disposal site
  11. Existence at or in close proximity to the site of any significant natural or cultural features of historical importance.

Jump to main content.