Senators Hyde Smith and Wicker join other Mississippians calling for the pumps to be finished, as Congressman Thompson continues his waffling.
According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2020, flooding occurred in the Yazoo Backwater region during nine of the ten preceding years. Trump Administration funding was set aside to help move the project forward after a 2019 flood that flooded more than 500,000 acres.
As noted by the Vicksburg Post, the population impacted in this region is “approximately 70-percent minority households, and 30 percent of the residents live at or below the poverty line.”
During a hearing in Congress, the Assistant Secretary of Army for Civil Works stated this week that the Biden administration views the Yazoo Backwater pumps as an environmental justice issue.
The Flood Control Act of 41 authorized the Yazoo Backwater Project, to protect the Delta area of Mississippi against these increased stages. This project involved a combination drainage structures, levees and pumps. The Yazoo Backwater Project’s final unbuilt feature is the pumps.
NovemberThe EPA stated that they recognize the disruptions caused by flooding in the Yazoo Backwater Area to the daily lives of Mississippians, and the economic impact of the area’s economy. They also received first-hand information from residents, as well federal, state and local elected officials, about the urgent need for flood control.
The agency now under the Biden Administration explained that the 2020 Proposed Plan For the Yazoo Pumps Project was prohibited by EPAs 2008 Clean Water Act Section 404 (c) Final Determination. This means that they are reversing course, siding with liberal special interest environmentalists groups.
These impacts would have unacceptable negative effects on wildlife and fishery areas. EPA supports the goal to provide flood protection to the Mississippi Delta residents. However, it believes that this important objective can be achieved while protecting the valuable natural resources of the area. EPA had declaredThey made the right decision.
Wednesday’s hearing was held by the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, in which lawmakers reviewed FY 2023 Army Corps budget.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers addressed questions from Mississippi U.S. during the hearing. Senator Cindy Hyde Smith (R) addressed the Yazoo Backwater Area pumps, saying that pumps are still part of the mix as the agency seeks new ways to help this area.
Senator Hyde-Smith stated that he believes the Corps knows that the Yazoo Backwater Pump Project is one of my top priorities. He said this after the hearing. It is evident that the Corps recognizes that a pumping facility is the only way for this region to receive flood protection. I hope that ongoing discussions will help us make this a reality sooner than we think.
Hyde Smith asked Lieutenant General Scott A. Spellmon Chief of Engineers and Commanding Gen of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about flood protection and the possibility of not having a pumping station that can remove trapped floodwaters.
We are confident in the science. Spellman stated that we are confident in our engineering and that the pump station will be able to operate in a way that protects these communities, as well as the 38,000 acres that are part of that area’s wetland.
Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson, a Democratic congressman, wrote a letter asking the Environmental Protection Agency to investigate the agency’s handling of the Trump Administration’s project. Thompson had just months before supported the project in his congressional district.
Thompson made a presentation to Vicksburg Rotary Club in March. He stated that he supports the pumps but also said that they must follow the law.
I am a law-abiding citizen. If the pumps dont comply with the law, Im not going to support them,” Thompson said about his discrepancy in positions.
According to the Vicksburg PostThompson stated that he wouldn’t support a multimillion-dollar project and suggested that the solution doesn’t have to be limited to pumps.
He said that he was not going to support a project worth $500 million. Broad-minded people would probably say, “What are the alternatives?” Flood control is my preference. It doesn’t always have to be pumps.
In July 2021, Mississippi U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R., held a hearing on the current issues that adversely affect environmental justice. He invited Tracy Harden, owner and operator of Chucks Dairy Bar in Rolling Fork (Mississippi), to testify about the need for flood control in southern Mississippi.
Wicker spoke out about the floods in the South Mississippi Delta as a result of 80 years of delay in the completion the Yazoo Backwater Pumps Project.
Senator Wicker asked Tracy Harden if the pumps help or harm wildlife, and how the pumps would affect her community. Harden said that the pumps would reduce flooding, which would allow farmers to continue working in the fields and hiring workers. She explained that farmers who are unable work cannot be hired.
In June 2013, a Biden administration official confirmed Senator Hyde Smiths assertion that the unfinished Yazoo Backwater Area Pumps are an environmental injustice problem for Mississippians.
In an exchange with Senator Hyde-Smith, Jamie Pinkham, Acting Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, the Mississippi Senator recounted some of the hardships faced by Yazoo Backwater residents.
Pinkham replied to Hyde-Smith when he asked why the completion of the Proposed Plan for the pump wouldn’t promote environmental justice. [Vicksburg] District. District.
However, there are many groups and individuals who support the EPA’s decision to overturn approval of Mississippi Yazoo Pumps project, all liberal special interests including American Rivers, National Audubon Society, Sierra Club and Healthy Gulf.
Let’s be clear: the Yazoo pumps are not an environmental justice initiative because it won’t protect flood-prone communities from flooding. Louie MillerState Director for the Mississippi Chapter, Sierra Club. According to the Corps, 80% of project benefits go to agriculture by draining wetlands to increase farming.
Audubon took a similar stand.
These proven measures would have money on the ground to the most vulnerable communities in the South Delta. This is what the Corps has repeatedly ignored, according to Jill Mastrototaro (Mississippi Policy Director for Audubon Delta). These are real solutions for environmental justice.
According to the EPA, they look forward to an interagency effort to draw on the expertise of a number of federal agencies in order to find a lasting solution for the Yazoobackwater. Additionally, they have stated that they are committed to continuing working with the Army Corps of Engineers as well as all other partners to find long-lasting and effective solutions that support the communities in the Yazoobackwater.