NEW ORLEANS, LA - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District Commander, Col. Edward Fleming, has signed the Decision Record for an environmental document that clears ten privately-owned sites for possible use for excavation of clay (also known as “borrow material”) in construction of the Greater New Orleans Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System. Earthen levees may only be constructed out of clay material that meets the Corps’ strict geotechnical standards.
Individual Environmental Report 31 entitled, “Contractor Furnished Borrow Material, Number 7,” was released for 30-day public review in September 2010. The document discussed the human and environmental impacts from possible excavation of ten Contractor-Furnished borrow sites.
Borrow sites described and approved in IER 31 include:
• Acosta 2 - located in St. Bernard Parish near LA-46
• Idlewild Stage 2 - located on the west bank of Plaquemines Parish near Oakville
• King Mine - located in Hancock County, MS near Pearlington
• Levis - located in St. Tammany Parish between US-190 and I-10
• Lilly Bayou - located in East Baton Rouge Parish near the intersection of US-61 and LA-64
• Port Bienville - located in Hancock County, MS near Pearlington
• Raceland Raw Sugars - located in Lafourche Parish near Raceland
• River Birch - Landfill Expansion - located on the west bank of Jefferson Parish
• Scarsdale - located on the east bank of Plaquemines Parish near LA-39
• Spoil Area - located in St. Bernard Parish adjacent to the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet
Information about proposed Contractor Furnished borrow sites is provided to the Corps by individual landowners who are responsible for soil boring and testing, and acquiring state and Federal environmental clearances. After gathering the necessary data and obtaining the appropriate clearances, landowners submit a proposal to the New Orleans District. The New Orleans District analyzes the potential environmental impacts from the proposed borrow areas in IERs.
Once a site is approved by the New Orleans District Commander, the borrow site is placed on a list of potential Contractor-Furnished sources for borrow material that may be used to construct earthen levees in the hurricane system. Use of the clay requires an agreement between private entities, such as between a landowner and a construction contractor. At no point in time does the landowner have an agreement with the Corps. Additionally, there are no guarantees that a landowner’s proposed borrow site will ever be used in conjunction with the construction of the hurricane system.
The IER process allows the Corps to expedite the environmental review required of all federally funded projects while fully complying with the intent of the National Environmental Policy Act. The Corps encourages the public to provide written comments on IERs by mail, e-mail or by visiting www.nolaenvironmental.govat any time throughout the comment period.
Copies of IER 31 may be downloaded at www.nolaenvironmental.gov. Hard copies may be requested by contacting:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
P.O. Box 60267
New Orleans, LA 70160-0267