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Wednesday, October 7, 2009 - 12:56pm

Concerns Linger In River Deepening Process

Officials from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers have outlined what they think is the best way to fix environmental problems expected when the Savannah River harbor is deepened.

The harbor deepening's environmental impact statement has been 11 years in the making. And it still might be another year before the Corp adopts an official draft for public comment.

Still, this week, officials reviewed their latest proposals to address environmental problems expected with the harbor deepening.

Among the highlights, Corp officials want to use giant bubblers to pump more oxygen into the river and stock the river with more endangered fish.

A spokesman for one environmental group says, the proposals amount to creating unnatural and scientifically-engineered river.

Corp officials tout how much money is going into environmental mitigation — about half the project's half-billion-dollar price tag.

Georgia ports officials want to deepen the harbor from 42 to 48 feet. They say, a deeper harbor is necessary to keep up with the demands of global shipping.

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