Corps seeks public comments on draft environmental assessment and draft FONSI

Published June 21, 2024

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is requesting public comments for the proposed mitigation plan for the West Bank and Vicinity Hurricane Protection Project through July 22, 2024.

A draft environmental assessment (EA) titled “Supplemental Environmental Assessment #498b, West Bank and Vicinity, Hurricane Protection Project, Updated Bottomland Hardwoods Mitigation Plan, Barataria River Basin, Louisiana,” and draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, is available for public review and comment for 30 days starting today.

The EA and FONSI evaluated alternatives to compensate for impacts to bottomland hardwood forest (BLH) that occurred in 2003 due to construction of the West Bank and Vicinity (WBV) Hurricane Protection Project. Prior mitigation efforts to enhance 125 acres of BLH were not successful due to changes in project site conditions.

Under the proposed action, the New Orleans District would purchase sufficient BLH credits from a mitigation bank within the Barataria Basin to mitigate up to 52 Average Annual Habitat Units (AAHUs) to offset the original BLH impacts in 2003 and to account for the time delay between those impacts and the purchase of credits. USACE may purchase credits from one or more banks, however the banks to be used in the proposed action are not known at this time.

As approved mitigation banks already exist on the landscape, no new direct, indirect, or cumulative impacts to any resources would be incurred due to the purchase of bank credits. There are no significant adverse impacts associated with the proposed action. Additionally, the recommended plan will have no effect on federally listed species or their designated critical habitat, or effects on historic properties.

All comments received by the end of the public comment period will be considered in finalizing EA #498b. Comments received and Mississippi Valley Division, New Orleans District responses will be included in the final environmental assessment.

Comments should be mailed to the attention of:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Regional Planning and Environment Division, South
New Orleans Environmental Branch, CEMVN PDS-R
7400 Leake Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana 70118

Comments and questions may also be provided by email to:

An electronic copy of the report and its appendices are located on the CEMVN District web page at:



Release no. 24-031