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EPA scorns dredging in Missouri River

KANSAS CITY, Kan., Sept. 9 (UPI) -- An environmental impact assessment from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on plans to dredge the Missouri River is inadequate, the EPA found.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determined that a draft impact statement prepared by the Army Corps of Engineers doesn't have enough scientific information to support plans to remove more than 11 million tons of gravel per year from the Missouri River.

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"Adequate science is lacking to support issuance of the requested dredging permits," said Karl Brooks, the regional EPA administrator, in a statement. "The proposal could contribute to significant riverbed loss in three segments of the river and result in damage to levees and bridges, increased flood risk and environmental damage."

The EPA said the Corps of Engineers would consider its warnings as it starts work on its final environmental impact statement.

"The final EIS will contain the corps' preferred dredging amount," the EPA said.

Dredging in the Missouri River began in the 1930s to support road construction and other development projects. Around 7 million tons of sand and gravel are removed from the river each year on average.

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