Yazoo pumps face legal challenge from environmental agencies

Yazoo pumps face legal challenge from environmental agencies

WARREN COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) - Earlier this week we told you about the Environmental Protection Agency now allowing the Army Corp of Engineers to begin work on a backwater pump project to prevent flooding in the lower Delta.

Environmental groups are now trying to block that by filing a lawsuit in federal court.

The Sierra Club, the National Audubon Society and others are challenging the overruling of a previous E.P.A. veto that had halted progress on the pumping project.

Although the E.P.A. says they have a new pumping station design, environmental groups say the impacts could be detrimental to wetlands and wildlife in the lower Delta. The pumping project would still need funding approval from Congress.

Opponents to the project are hoping the incoming Biden administration will side against pushing it forward.

Olivia Dorothy, Director of Upper Mississippi River Region for American Rivers said, “Even if we were able to get a new Biden administration to overturn what Andrew Wheeler did with the EPA decision to accept this project, I think that the proponents of the project would be just as likely to challenge the Biden administration decision to reverse the Trump administration decision.”

Those who support the pumps say they would keep backwater flooding to a height of 87 feet.

Environmentalists say it would impact nearly 200-thousand acres of wetlands where there are endangered species that could be critically impacted.

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