Dredging & Marine Construction

Public Invited To Attend Virtual Meetings For Mississippi River Levee Draft Report

The New Orleans Engineer District has announced a pair of virtual public meetings to discuss and receive comment on the recently released draft update to the Environmental Impact Statement for the Mississippi River & Tributaries Project (MR&T), Mississippi River Mainline Levees.

Both meetings, one today (September 30) from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and one tomorrow, October 1, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., will be live-streamed on the New Orleans District’s Facebook page (facebook.com/usacenola).

The original Environmental Impact Statement for the MR&T project dates to 1976, with the first supplemental study (SEIS I) published in 1998. The latest draft report, SEIS II, published August 28, outlines “various sections (reaches) of the mainline levee system [that] are deficient in varying amounts” and details measures needed to control seepage, raise and stabilize those reaches. The draft report also offers an evaluation of alternatives under consideration and potential impacts to the environment.

During the virtual public meetings, Corps officials will overview the project and receive verbal public comments through both Facebook and by calling or texting 601-392-2237. The Corps will continue to gather written comments on the draft SEIS II report through October 13. Written comments may be sent by email to MRL-SEIS-2@usace.army.mil or by mail to: District Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg District, 4155 Clay St., Vicksburg, MS 39138-3435.

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Comments should include the person’s name and return address. All personal information submitted through a public comment may be publicly accessible. All public comments will be “addressed and considered” as the Corps prepares a final report.

In the draft SEIS II report, the Corps identified 143 reaches along the Mississippi River Mainline Levees in need of attention. The Corps estimates the total cost for the entire list of levee improvements to be about $2 billion. Deficient reaches were found in Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. A handful of problem areas were found on the Ohio River, with the others along the Mississippi River. Close to two-thirds of the problem areas—92 of 143—are located within the New Orleans District’s area of responsibility.

The Corps estimates close to 4 million cubic yards of dredged or fill material will be used to complete all the “work items” outlined in the draft report.

Included in the draft SEIS II is a map of each work item, including the borrow area for additional levee material, where applicable, along with alternative options.

The draft report is accessible through the Vicksburg Engineer District’s website at www.mvk.usace.army.mil/MRLSEIS.