Coeur d’Alene businessman Duane Hagadone’s revised plans for dredging the channel west of Blackwell Island include about 164 fewer boat slips and more extensive studies to determine the potential for lake and aquifer contamination.
Marina Yacht Club LLC, which is owned by Hagadone, submitted March 17 a new, more complete application to the Idaho Department of Lands and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The company also is asking for a discharge permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The public has until the end of April to comment on the plan that would modernize and expand the marina and deepen the channel to allow for larger boats. The proposed dredging area, which would make the channel about 50 percent wider and at least 8 feet deep, is from Lake Coeur d’Alene downstream, past the current marina, to where the channel flows under U.S. Highway 95.
“All the science is submitted this time,” said Carl Washburn, of the Lands Department.
The plan calls for demolishing all of the current structures and increasing the capacity to 368 boat slips, just 29 more than what is currently allowed. Originally Hagadone proposed expanding the marina to about 530 slips.
Hagadone withdrew his initial request Dec. 13, after urging by the government agencies. Officials said Hagadone’s plan was incomplete and left too many questions about the level of metals in the soils and the potential for breaking the seal over the aquifer that provides drinking water to more than 400,000 people. There also were concerns about dredging in an area that is a former city landfill.
Since then, Hagadone hired experts to do more soil tests, specifically those that DEQ had said were missing and were needed to determine if unsafe levels of hazardous material that could harm humans, wildlife and aquatic life are present.
DEQ and Hagadone officials weren’t available for comment Thursday.
The findings of Hagadone’s consultants show that “the overall impact to local water quality is minimal” and that the dredging could actually help the environment.