Corps withdraws decision allowing Yazoo Pumps flood control project

Published: Dec. 15, 2021 at 4:05 PM CST
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WLBT) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is withdrawing its support for the Yazoo Pumps project.

In a December 11 memo, Maj. Gen. Diana Holland, commanding officer for the corps, said the agency was withdrawing its decision backing the flood control project and that the corps’ decision was in error.

Last year, the corps determined the EPA’s 2008 Clean Water Act veto on the pumps did not apply for the revised 2020 plan.

“The corps remains deeply concerned about how flooding impacts the residents and the economy of the lower Mississippi Delta, including environmental justice issues affecting the population. The corps will work expeditiously to determine how to address these flooding impacts along with our federal, state, and local partners,” Holland wrote.

The decision is the final step in stopping the project, which was designed to keep Mississippi River backwater levels stable during flood events, keeping dry thousands of acres of farmland in the Mississippi Delta.

It is being applauded by environmental activists, who had filed a lawsuit earlier this year to challenge the Trump administration’s decision last year to revive the pumps. The complaint was filed by Earthjustice on behalf of American Rivers, National Audubon Society, Sierra Club, and Healthy Gulf.

“The Corps’ reversal of the outdated, ineffective Pumps is an unequivocal reminder of the power of science, the law, and the public’s voice in holding agencies accountable for their irresponsible actions – namely the Corps’ unprecedented effort to illegally sidestep bedrock environmental laws, abdicate agency responsibilities and ignore key scientific findings about the 2020 Pumps’ plan,” the groups said in a press release.

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