WILMINGTON, N.C. – The US Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington District (Corps) released a draft study evaluating three alternatives regarding the future of three locks and dams and associated property located along the Cape Fear River.
The three alternatives evaluated in the study include no action, deauthorization and removal, and deauthorization and transfer to a willing non-federal government entity. The Corps is recommending deauthorization and transfer.
The Corps is seeking public comments regarding the findings of this study. The release of this draft study begins a 30 day period for the public to submit comments. Public can submit comments here until February 13, 2020.
The locks and dams are no longer serving their authorized purpose of commercial navigation, and there is no indication of future commercial need. With decreasing availability of congressionally authorized funds, the future ability of the federal government to perform adequate operations and maintenance is unlikely.
Communication with stakeholders, to include working groups, resource agencies, and public utilities, has been ongoing since a public scoping meeting was held in Elizabethtown in December 2018. Public comments have been accepted since that time.
Once the 30 day period closes, the Corps will address and incorporate comments, as appropriate, received into the final study document, which will then be elevated to division level for evaluation.