Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill introduced by state Rep. Larry Hoff, R-Vancouver, streamlining the permitting process for dredging on the Columbia River.
Under Hoff’s legislation, House Bill 1193, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will have more leeway to maintain navigation channels on the river, if plans have undergone environmental policy reviews and it applied for state water quality certification.
If those conditions are met, the Corps can dredge the river without meeting the other permit requirements under the Shoreline Management Act.
“Periodically, navigation channels leading to deepwater ports on the Columbia River need to be dredged to ensure safe passage for vessels carrying our crops and goods to market,” Hoff said in a media release.
“This bill will enable the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to quickly dispose of dredge spoil and keep our region’s most critical marine highway running smoothly. That’s important not just for Washington’s economic recovery but for the nation’s,” he said.
Inslee signed the bill Thursday.