The Army Corps of Engineers today issued a permit for the Navy’s $700 million project to improve the explosives handling wharf at Naval Base Kitsap.
The Navy expects to begin construction next month, a spokeswoman said.
The Defense Department’s 2012 budget included $280 million to begin the work. It’s the biggest defense-related project in Washington State, and it’s intended to improve the wharf for the base’s eight Trident ballistic-missile submarines.
“I have determined, based on all the data and analysis available to the Corps, that the proposal is the least environmentally damaging practicable alternative available to the applicant and is not contrary to the public interest,” Col. Bruce A. Estok, the Corps’ Seattle District Commander, said in a news release.
Anti-nuclear advocacy groups have sued to block the project. The permit from the Corps was the last hurdle for the Navy to begin construction.
“We are good to go,” said Leslie Yuenger, a Navy spokeswoman.
The project’s environmental review is located here. Washington state lawmakers have endorsed the wharf improvements as necessary to support the Navy’s current fleet of submarines.