VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) _ The Army Corps of Engineers says thousands of people have sent comments about a proposal for huge pumps to drain floodwaters from parts of the rural Mississippi Delta.
They represent a wide range of viewpoints, Vicksburg District spokeswoman Jessica Dulaney told The Vicksburg Post.
Supporters say the $400 million project is needed to protect an area that often sees significant flooding. Opponents, have said it would destroy wetlands and could cause Flooding further down the Mississippi River.
Monday is the deadline for comments about the Corps’ latest draft environmental impact statement for the Yazoo Pumps project, which would be built where the Yazoo River flows into the Mississippi River to protect an area north of Vicksburg.
The Environmental Protection Agency rejected the project in 2008 under Republican President George W. Bush, saying it would have unacceptable effects on wetlands and their fisheries and wildlife.
But in October the Corps said new research found that the project isn’t expected “to convert any wetlands into non-wetlands.”
The Corps also said plans also call for trying to buy and reforest 2,400 acres (971 hectares) of frequently flooded agricultural lands to compensate for any “losses to wetlands, terrestrial, aquatic, and waterfowl resources.”
Installing 34 low flow groundwater wells along the Mississippi River and upstream of the area to be protected “will mitigate for unavoidable losses to aquatic resources,” it said.
Dulaney said representatives from the Corps’ Vicksburg and New Orleans districts and the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center are reading, sorting and sometimes responding to comments.
Comments can be emailed to YazooBackwater(at)usace.army.mil or mailed to District Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg District, 4155 Clay Street, Vicksburg, Mississippi 39183-3435.
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