USACE says Portsmouth Harbour project will have "no significant impact

Project Updates - June 13, 2003

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The Pilot Online newspaper says the US Army Corps of Engineers has found that a new port proposed by the world's largest shipping company would cause "no significant impact" to the Elizabeth River and should proceed without extensive environmental study.

The preliminary decision is good news for APM Terminals Virginia Inc, a subsidiary of Danish shipping giant A P Moller Group, which wants to build a deep water cargo terminal on the Portsmouth waterfront, just south of Craney Island, by 2005.

The Pilot Online said the APM project, planned on a 576-acre parcel known as the Cox property, would cost an estimated $385 million. It would bring jobs and income to Portsmouth, as well as about $2 million to the state in royalties from dredging fees. Virginia already has budgeted that money for various environmental programs that otherwise would go unfunded.

Several environmental groups are objecting to the corps' finding, published late last week. They say a project that would ruin more than 23 acres of forested and tidal wetlands and involves dredging 189 acres of river bottom should undergo a full-blown environmental study.

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