Delaware River Dredging Battle Will Head to Court

"Nearly 28 years after Congress authorized the Army Corps of Engineers to deepen the Delaware River's main shipping channel, the only thing about the project that has deepened is the controversy.

The latest showdown over the $300 million plan is scheduled for Tuesday in federal court, when New Jersey and Delaware will try to block the project -- citing the lack of permits from either state.

Environmentalists and elected officials from South Jersey also have sought to thwart the corps. They question the cost and predict increased pollution if the corps dredges millions of cubic yards of sediment from Philadelphia to the Delaware Bay.

But business and labor leaders have stepped up efforts to link dredging to economic growth and jobs. They say the deeper channel would allow larger ships to reach local ports, helping the region to stay competitive."

Jeff Montgomery reports for Gannett December 3, 2009.

Friday, December 4, 2009