The Post & Courier has been running a series of favorable articles about a Dredging, Spoils Dumping and Barging Proposal that will have enduring affects on Daniel Island natural resources. The Ports Authority is proposing extending the Wando Terminal wharf 700 feet north across from DI, deep dredging the Wando River next to DI, extending the dredging dumping area on the DI SouthEnd to include about another 250 acres, clearcutting this entire area(which was just done), and adding large barges to reload and re-transport containers delivered to the Wando Terminal by ocean-going vessels, around Daniel Island 24/7/365. The proposal promises to reduce truck traffic on the fractured 526 Wando Bridge from about 730,000 trucks a year to about 100,000 trucks a year. There are no announced reduction guarantees or truck volume restrictions. Container volume is estimated to double to 1.5 million units thereby doubling ocean going ships using the Wando River next to DI and increasing large barge traffic from zero to an estimated 50 to 100 transports a day. There are no announced ship or barge discharge, lights or noise restrictions; discharge monitoring or environmental catastrophe bonding plans. There are no announced plans to test the dredging spoils before dumping on DI to ensure spoils are free from harmful chemicals and radiation that could affect resident health. There are no announced plans to monitor the expected increase in mosquito populations expected from doubling dredging deposits on DI; or test for Zika or malaria or other mosquito carrying viruses; or publish the chemicals used to spray and any adverse health effects. The are no announced plans for air, shoreline, estuary, dissolved oxygen, wildlife and/or marine life monitoring in and around DI.
DINRA members have posed the following questions: Who will pay for the fracturing of the Wando bridge by approximately 730,000 Wando Terminal trucks per year? Will the approximate 250 acres of trees and natural habitats destroyed recently on DI southeast end be replaced? Will the EPA monitor daily the millions of tons on dredge spoils scheduled to be deposited on Daniel island and post findings on a public website? If contaminates are detected will they be remediated under EPA supervision? Does the Ports Authority have a clean up plan for post dredging or accidental spills? Will dredging spoils increase the likelihood of Zika or Malaria virus carrying mosquitoes, increasing mosquito infestation and/or airborne treatment poisons harmful to islanders and wildlife? Will the Ports post an environmental security bond in event of estuary or shoreline contamination damage to DI? How will the new Barging highway affect pleasure craft, fishing and swimming around DI? How will wake damage be controlled and when damage occurs compensated/remediated? Will air and water quality around DI be monitored on a daily basis and published on public website?
Will deep dredging in the Wando next to DI create a dangerous “ sloshing effect” likely to cause flooding of DI shorelines and estuaries when winds and storms are encountered? Homes are more likely to be flooded and insurance rates could be affected. Who will be responsible for wake damage and shoreline pollution and erosion. How will pleasure craft, swimming and fishing around DI be affected?. What entity will be accountable for posting environmental insurance bonds? What entity will be accountable once this project is approved? How much tax federal, state and local tax money will be spent on this project?
Please attend the information meeting on January 30 at the DI Club and then on February 5 to learn more about your Island’s natural resource future.
Want some more info? Check out this story on Cargo ship pollution »