Federal Appeals Court Okays Dredging of Delaware River

Jul 5, 2012

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A federal appeals court in Philadelphia has rejected an appeal from environmental groups and the state of New Jersey challenging the Army Corps of Engineers' dredging of the Delaware River.

In a 67-page ruling issued Tuesday, the court upheld decisions by federal judges in Delaware and New Jersey who said the Corps could deepen the shipping channel in the river by five feet without violating federal environmental laws.

The Corps is deepening a 103-mile stretch of the river from 40 to 45 feet in order to accommodate larger commercial ships.

Supporters say the $360 million project will help keep area ports competitive. But environmentalists have argued that the sediment stirred up by the dredging could be contaminated with toxic chemicals that will pollute the river and harm the fish population.