PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has designated an area about 11 miles off the coast of Kittery as a long-term disposal site for dredging material from Maine, New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts, the agency announced Friday.

The Isles of Shoals North Disposal Site meets a need in a region where there are no EPA-designated, long-term disposal sites for dredged material. The only active site, off Cape Arundel, Maine, was previously closed, then reopened, and will close again after Dec. 31, 2021.

“This disposal site will be critical to our ability to maintain our federal navigation projects to help ensure the safety of the maritime public,” said EPA New England Regional Administrator Dennis Deziel.

The Isles of Shoals North Disposal Site will be used for an upcoming dredging project in Rye Harbor, New Hampshire. The close proximity – it’s 10 miles closer than the Cape Arundel site – will reduce costs of the long-awaited project.

“The ability to dispose of dredged material at the Isles of Shoals North is preferred over the alternate location, as it will help reduce costs and also ease stress on the fishing grounds,” said U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.

The designation under the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act was formally published in the federal register on Friday.

The disposal site is 7 miles from Eastern Island, the closest of the Isles of Shoals. It’s 12.4 miles from Portsmouth and 11 miles from Kittery.

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