May 20 2010. Ken Holder chief of Public Affairs at the New Orleans District Corps of Engineers has issued the following statement regarding the processing of emergency permits for protection of the Louisiana Coast from the BP oil spill:
“We understand the importance and significance of this emergency permit request and it is a top priority. We are closely monitoring the response effort in the Gulf of Mexico and are very concerned about the potential adverse impacts to the environment due to this oil spill.
“We received an emergency permit request from the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana at 11 p.m. Tuesday May 11 for work on the Chandeleur Islands and also on all barrier islands from East Grand Terre Island and eastward to Sandy Point.
“The permit has been requested ‘to enhance the capability of the islands to reduce the inland movement of oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill’ as per the permit request cover letter.
“That request is being processed under emergency permit procedures of New Orleans District’s General Permit NOD-20. Under the emergency permit procedures the Corps is still required to comply with NEPA and other applicable laws.
“In accordance with the NEPA process we solicited interagency comments on the State’s permit. Those agency comments were provided to the state which then submitted a revised plan on May 14. The Corps again solicited interagency comments on the state’s revision. We are currently evaluating all of this information for potential environmental impacts as required under NEPA.”