Emil Ekvardt from Great.com interviewed Healthy Gulf as part of their ‘Great.com Talks With…’ podcast. This series is an antidote to negative news stories that aims to shed light on organizations and experts whose work is making a positive impact on the world. The Waters We Love Will Waste Away The Gulf of Mexico is …
Protect Clean Water
Citizens from North Gulfport oppose wetland filling that would allow the State Port to build a rail/truck transfer facility next to their neighborhoods. Environmental Justice issues are contained in the appeal. Residents who live adjacent to the project site are concerned that soil and water pollution contained there will be mobilized with development and affect their health, property and quality of life. A 70 year old brownfield site – a closed fertilizer plant – has left soil and groundwater tainted by arsenic, lead and carcinogens that could find their way to the surface if the site is developed. The evidentiary hearing on the Mississippi State Port Authority’s Clean Water Act State water quality certification began this week at the MDEQ Commission Room in Jackson, but is continued until May.
Healthy Gulf joined American Rivers, National Audubon Society and Sierra Club in a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency, asking a federal judge to rule on whether EPA’s 2008 Clean Water Act veto of the Yazoo Backwater Pump project still applies to a 2020 Army Corps of Engineers re-do. The project’s pumping capacity and purpose remain the same as the earlier project which was vetoed during the George W. Bush Administration. The project’s impacts to wetlands and habitats remain significant in the 2020 re-do version, and the Conservation Groups maintain that the veto still prohibits the pumps. EPA has used a Clean Water Act veto on a development project 13 times since 1972. The agency has slightly modified some vetoes after-the-fact, but has never completely revoked one.
The controversial Yazoo Backwater Area pump project in the lower Mississippi Delta is again being advanced by the Army Corps of Engineers and the State of Mississippi. Much weight is given to a single new piece of Corps-sponsored research on soil moisture that the agency uses to conclude that a large pumping plant will not cause present wetland areas to change to non-wetland classification. The Corps’s justification of the pumps on these wetland effects is presented in a new Supplemental EIS that could open the door for the Environmental Protection Agency to revisit and rescind its 2008 veto of the project under the Clean Water Act.
This summary of news relevant to the Pearl River so far in 2020 includes notes on Jackson’s “One Lake” project, recent letters to the Secretary of the Army from Louisiana and Mississippi, Jackson Mississippi’s continuing sewage spills, the Pearl River Map Turtle’s status under the Endangered Species Act, and the Pearl River Clean Sweep – river clean up days in September.
We need your help to stop a project that would cost $400 million dollars, destroy 200,000 acres of wetlands, and only be 32% effective at stopping flooding—leaving 68% of the recently flooded Mississippi Delta vulnerable to future floods. The Yazoo Pumps simply don’t add up for communities impacted by flooding or for taxpayers.