US Army Corps of Engineers
New Orleans District

Corps seeks public comments for regional studies

Published April 4, 2019

Corps seeks public comments for regional studies

Flood risk reduction alternatives across south Louisiana

 

NEW ORLEANS – Notices of Intent were published April 2 on the Federal Register for the five studies funded by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is seeking public comments for each of the studies.

 

The studies are listed below:

  • Amite River and Tributaries – East of the Mississippi River
  • Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity General Re-evaluation Report
  • South Central Coast
  • Upper Barataria Basin
  • West Bank and Vicinity General Re-evaluation Report

     

    The studies were initiated in October 2018 following execution of the Feasibility Cost Share Agreements with the local sponsors. Each study will be completed within 3 years and $3 million. All studies are scheduled for completion in October 2021. 

     

    Currently each of the studies are in the scoping phase where the Corps of Engineers is seeking public comment to better inform which alternatives should be considered for further study. All of the studies are scheduled to have a Draft Feasibility Report and Draft Environmental Impact Statement completed this winter.

     

    As part of the scoping process public meetings will be held in the project areas for the studies. These meetings are currently in the planning phase but advertisements will be posted once the details are available. Comments from the public for inclusion in the draft reports will be accepted until May 17, 2019. Contact information is provided on the study webpages available at the link below.

     

    https://www.mvn.usace.army.mil/About/Projects/BBA-2018/studies/

     

    A study is the first part of a project’s lifecycle. At the conclusion of a study, if an alternative is found to be economically viable, a recommendation will be made to the Chief of Engineers, who will then make a recommendation to Congress for authorization and funding. Once a project is authorized and funded, design and construction activities can begin.

     

    About each of the studies:

     

    Amite River and Tributaries – East of the Mississippi River: The study area, which includes the Amite River Basin, encompasses an area of approximately 3,450 square miles and is home to over 500,000 residents. The area consists of eight Louisiana parishes (East Feleciana, St. Helena, East Baton Rouge, Livingston, Iberville, Ascension, St. James, and St. John the Baptist), Maurepas Lake, and four Mississippi counties (Amite, Wilkinson, Franklin, and Lincoln). Over three-fourths of the study area lies in the parishes of southeastern Louisiana, located east of the Mississippi River and north of Lake Maurepas. The upper one-fourth of the study area’s drainage area lies in the southwestern Mississippi counties.

     

    The effort is a continued response to the 1967 study authority. Rainfall from hurricanes, tropical storm events, and local storms pose a significant risk to the communities, ecosystems, and industries of the Amite River Basin. Due to the August 2016 flooding, the entire study area is being reevaluated to determine whether there is Federal interest in additional improvements for flood risk management. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD) is the non-federal sponsor. This study is 100 percent Federally funded.

     

    Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity General Re-evaluation Report and the West Bank and Vicinity General Re-evaluation Report – The Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction (HSDRRS) system was authorized to provide the greater New Orleans area with a system that could defend against the 100-year storm surge event, an event that has a 1 percent change of occurring in any given year.

     

    The authorization for HSDRRS did not include any future levee lifts required to sustain the 1 percent level of risk reduction. With an understanding that risk to property and infrastructure will progressively increase if levee lifts are not used to offset settlement, subsidence and sea level rise, Congress subsequently authorized the study of future levee lifts for the LPV and WBV portions of the HSDRRS. Under this additional authority, the Corps must evaluate any necessary work to ensure that it is technically feasible, environmentally acceptable and economically justified. The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) is the non-Federal sponsor. The study phase is 100 percent Federally funded.

     

    South Central Coast – This study was authorized in 2006 to determine the feasibility of providing hurricane and storm damage risk reduction within Iberia, St. Mary and St. Martin parishes. Flood risk management approaches that are being considered include structural measures such as new levee alignments, ring levees, and improvements to existing levees, as well as non-structural measures such as wet flood-proofing, dry flood-proofing and buyouts. The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) is the non-Federal sponsor. The study phase is 100 percent Federally funded.

     

    Upper Barataria Basin – Authorized in 1998, this study will investigate alternatives to address flood risk from tidal surges, coastal storms and heavy rainfall in the area between Bayou Lafourche and the Mississippi River system. Headwater flooding from rainfall is intensified by tidal events resulting in flood damages to industrial, commercial, and agricultural facilities as well as residential structures. The study will evaluate a range of structural and non-structural approaches to regulate upper basin stages and storage capabilities.  Flood risk management approaches that are being considered include structural measures such as new levee alignments, ring levees, and improvements or extensions to existing levees, as well as non-structural measures. The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) is the non-Federal sponsor. The study phase is 100 percent Federally funded.

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Contact
Matt Roe
matt.m.roe@usace.army.mil

Release no. 19-010