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UniSea Dredging Project Continues

Posted on June 28, 2016

By Jim Paulin, The Bristol Bay Times

Unisea’s seafood waste dredging project is expected to last a few more weeks in Unalaska, according to Chris Plaisance, vice president of corporate affairs.

“During this process there are going to be days when there will be an odor in the air, hopefully this doesn’t occur too often,” Plaisance said. The project is happening just offshore, near the ‘S’ Curves on Airport Beach Road by the corner of Gilman Road.

“The reason that UniSea is involved in this project is due to a consent decree issued by the Environmental Protection Agency to remove our seafood waste pile that has been in place for the last 30 years. The makeup of the outfall pile is made up seafood products that could not be processed in our plant. We will need to remove approximately 11,000 cubic yards of material,” Plaisance said.

“The EPA directed us to take this legacy pile 6 to 7 miles out to sea and disperse it into the open waters. This dredging project should be completed by July 15, 2016, at which time it will be left alone for two months to settle, then underwater survey equipment will be used to make sure the pile has been removed successfully,” Plaisance said.

The dredging involves three vessels, two barges and a tugboat. The 150-foot long Robert L. West barge carries the crane with a clamshell scoop which then deposits the dredged material onto the 226-foot Spruce barge. The West stays in one place for the length of the project. The 100-foot tug Wendy O. hauls the Spruce barge six miles north daily to deeper water at the disposal site in Unalaska Bay near Eider Point. There will be a four-day dive inspection from Sept. 15 to 19, according Orion Marine Group, the dredging contractor formerly known as West.

Source: The Bristol Bay Times

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