Major Grain Terminal Planned In Port Of South Louisiana
The public comment period is underway for permits related to a project that would develop a new grain elevator and terminal on a 248-acre site on the right descending bank of the Lower Mississippi River in St. John the Baptist Parish, La., near the town of Wallace.
Greenfield Louisiana LLC has applied for permits with both the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The Corps permits are related to Section 10 of the Rivers & Harbors Act and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. With the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Greenfield Louisiana has applied for a Water Quality Certification (WQC).
The project, which would be located just downriver from the Veterans Memorial Bridge that connects Gramercy on the east bank to Wallace on the west bank, falls within the jurisdiction of the Port of South Louisiana. Last year, the port applied for a 2020 Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grant seeking $25 million in grant funding to help fund construction of a $58.7 million dock as part of the terminal. Under that plan, Greenfield Louisiana would lease the dock from the Port of South Louisiana. According to the port, the total cost of the grain storage and transfer facility would be around $400 million.
“The proposed project will consist of an efficient, environmentally friendly grain export elevator that will have the ability to receive barges, trains and trucks from U.S. farmers,” according to the Port of South Louisiana’s information page on the BUILD grant application. “The terminal will consist of 36 on-site storage bins connected to the dock by covered conveyer belts and multiple dust collection systems to help reduce any environmental impacts. The initial dock will be 820 feet in length with the ability to berth one Post-Panamax bulk carrier vessel with a loading capacity of up to 120,000 bushels per hour.”
Over time, the dock could be expanded to allow a loading capacity of 240,000 bushels per hour.
According to the Port of South Louisiana, the project would create 300 or more peak construction jobs and 70 or more permanent jobs, once the terminal is in operation.
The Corps and Louisiana DEQ issued a joint public notice announcing the comment period on March 1, with the comment period extending 30 days from that date.
“Written comments, including suggestions for modifications or objections to the proposed work, stating reasons thereof, are being solicited from anyone having interest in this permit and/or this WQC request and must be mailed so as to be received before or by the last day of the comment period,” the notice stated.
Written comments may be sent to the New Orleans District’s Regulatory Branch at 7400 Leake Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118, or by email to Project Manager Scott N. Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments may be sent to Louisiana DEQ to the attention of “Water Quality Certifications” at Post Office Box 4313, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-4313.
The Port of South Louisiana is the United States’ leading grain exporter, with grain elevators within the port’s 54-mile jurisdiction along the Mississippi River already handling more than 50 percent of all U.S. grain exports. According to the port, in 2020, that included nearly 25 million short tons of soybeans, 21.4 million short tons of corn, 2.1 million short tons of feed, 1.5 million short tons of wheat and more than 400,000 short tons of other grains. Overall, the port regularly ranks first in the nation in total tonnage.