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Delaware River Dredging Opponents Try Again To Halt Project

(File photo: the US Army Corps of Engineers dredging the Delaware River.)

(File photo: the US Army Corps of Engineers dredging the Delaware River.)

John Ostapkovich John Ostapkovich
John Ostapkovich brings humor and wit, and a wealth of experience...
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By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The US Third Circuit Court of Appeals is considering a request to halt the deepening of the Delaware River shipping channel, already underway.

Opposing the deepening were the State of New Jersey and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network.  On the other side were the US Department of Justice and the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority.

The basic argument to stop the $360-million project, argued to be critical to bringing new, larger ships upriver, is that the US Army Corps of Engineers didn’t pay enough attention to opponents’ various concerns.

davenport jane ost side Delaware River Dredging Opponents Try Again To Halt Project

(Jane Davenport of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. Credit: John Ostapkovich)

“And here they said, basically, ‘We’re going to blast first, we’re going to dredge first, we’re going to ask questions later, if at all,” Jane Davenport (right), lawyer for the Riverkeeper Network, said outside the federal courthouse in Philadelphia after today’s hearing.

Pro-dredging attorneys argued in court that they have been compiling studies, and studies of studies, for years, in some cases where opponents were stalling, and the Corps of Engineers finally exercised its authority to move ahead.

Two other attorneys, one pro-dredging, the other against, declined to comment outside of court.