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Corps Denies Permit for Rock Dikes in Barataria Bay

Today, July 3, 2010, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District commander Col. Al Lee denied a Jefferson Parish request to build rock dikes in the Barataria Basin.

In a letter to Jefferson Parish, Col. Lee offered (in part) the following explanation: “My effort to facilitate a decision that best serves the public interest required careful review of the supporting documentation you furnished and affording state and federal resource agencies and the scientific community an opportunity to provide meaningful input on the proposed action.

Additionally, scientists and engineers of the New Orleans District, Mississippi Valley Division and Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) conducted a technical assessment of the effects these structures would likely have on coastal processes, the attendant consequences for the Barataria Bay estuarine system, and relative benefit derived from these structures in reducing the intrusion of oil into the estuary. The findings I have reached based on close examination of the project and comments received from agency coordination raise very serious concern with granting authorization to perform this work in accordance with our emergency permit provisions.”

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