Deadline to comment on Backwater project approaching

By PRESS RELEASE,

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today reminded Mississippians not to miss the Monday, June 15, deadline to submit public comments on a new review on the Yazoo Backwater Area Project, a step that could lead to much-needed flood protection in the South Delta.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is receiving comments regarding its proposal to issue a “Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the “Yazoo Basin Reformulation Study, Yazoo Backwater Area.”  The public comments will help inform the Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District’s intent to prepare a SEIS on a new project proposal based on new data.

“Significant input from Mississippians, who understand how the lack of the pumps has harmed homes, property, and the environment, will make a difference in the steps the Army Corps takes on the Yazoo Backwater pumps,” said Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Army Corps.

“In the past, the voices of Mississippians and residents directly affected by catastrophic backwater flooding in particular, have been drowned out by outside groups with little to no connection to or understanding of the importance of this effort.  We need to correct that,” she said.  “There is still time to make our voices heard and to play an important role in giving the South Delta the flood control it has needed for almost 80 years.”

The June 15 deadline is the first set in the SEIS schedule, which includes an October 2020 goal to complete the SEIS report and release it to agencies and the public for review and comment.  This could then lead to an Army Corps decision on the Yazoo Backwater Pump project in January 2021, opening the doors for actual construction.  The new analysis will include wetland, aquatic, terrestrial, waterfowl, mitigation, endangered species, economic and other analysis.

The Federal Register notice on the Yazoo Backwater Area Pumps is available here.

Submit comments regarding the SEIS:

·         By email to YazooBackwater@usace.army.mil

·         By postal mail to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg District, ATTN: CEMVK-PPMD, 4155 E. Clay St., Room 248, Vicksburg MS 39183.

·         By phone to Mr. Kenneth Parrish at 601-631-5006.

In addition, the Delta Council organized a postcard campaign in at least 20 communities in the Mississippi Delta and Jackson area.  The location of postcard signing sites can be found here.

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