Thursday, October 24, 2019

A.G. to Sue Corps of Engineers

Attorney General Jim Hood issued the following statement.


Today Attorney General Jim Hood announced that he will file suit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to require the federal government to pay for the extensive environmental and economic damage to the Mississippi Gulf Coast caused by the repeated and lengthy openings of the Bonnet Carré Spillway in 2019. The lawsuit, which will be filed in the name of the State of Mississippi, will also seek to protect the Gulf Coast from future damage by requiring the Corps to adopt updated and scientifically sound methods of flood control and by requiring the Corps to consider the impacts of spillway openings on Mississippi. Federal law requires the State to give the Corps 60 notice before filing the lawsuit.

“Mississippi should not be the federal government’s dumping ground for polluted flood waters,” General Hood said. “Our State’s environment and economy must be considered and protected just as the Corps protects the environment and economy of our neighboring states.”

The Bonnet Carré Spillway was opened for a record 123 days in 2019. Based on Corps’ numbers, a total of 1.35 trillion cubic feet (almost 10 trillion gallons) of Mississippi River water was discharged through the spillway during 2019. That discharge is equivalent to the volume of more than 15 million Olympic-size swimming pools which, if laid end to end, would circle the Earth more than 18 times. According to the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, the fresh water of the Mississippi River carries with it industrial pollutants from 31 states and two Canadian provinces. When the Corps repeatedly opened the Bonnet Carré Spillway in 2019, trillions of gallons of this polluted fresh water was dumped into the Mississippi Sound.

The environmental and economic damage to the Mississippi Gulf Coast from the influx of trillions of gallons of polluted fresh water has been devastating. The Mississippi Sound is home to abundant populations of oysters, crabs, shrimp, fish, and dolphins.

“The spillway opening has destroyed the State’s oyster reefs, decimated the crab and shrimp catch, and killed more dolphins than the 2010 BP Oil Spill,” General Hood said.

Recreational fishing has been damaged because of toxic algae blooms caused by the influx of fresh water. Coast beaches were closed to swimming during the height of the tourist season because of the algae blooms. The full extent of the damage to Mississippi’s environment and economy may not be known for years. And worse yet, repeated openings of the Bonnet Carré Spillway in 2019 and future years will likely cause more overall harm to Mississippi than the one-time BP Oil Spill.

The Attorney General has three goals for this lawsuit against the Corps. First, General Hood will seek to recover funds to compensate for the harm to the Mississippi Gulf Coast’s economy and environment. Second, General Hood will seek to recover funds to rebuild and rehabilitate the oyster reefs and other damaged marine habitat and populations. Third, General Hood will seek to limit future damage by directing the Corps to study the environmental impact of spillway openings on the Mississippi Sound and to adopt new procedures for flood control. The protocols for operating spillways are outdated, having been established in the 1930’s and 1950’s, and do not address the present and future conditions of the Mississippi River. General Hood stated: “The current approach to managing the Mississippi River must be reexamined. The Corps must look both up-river and down-river to find ways to better protect Mississippians and the Mississippi Sound. I refuse to accept that the country that tests rocket engines at the Stennis Space Center cannot find a way to manage the Mississippi River without harming the Mississippi Sound. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. This lawsuit will give the Corps the will to change its practices to protect Mississippi.”

“Our State is blessed with abundant seafood and beautiful beaches. Many hardworking Mississippians depend on fishing and tourism to make a living. For too long, Mississippi’s interest have been ignored. If we do not take immediate action to require the Corps to change its approach to flood control and limit the use of the Bonnet Carré Spillway, these ways of life will be threatened,” General Hood said. The Attorney General is also working with the Secretary of State who serves as the State Land Commissioner to explore all options concerning damages to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. “As we move forward, I intend to work closely with all stakeholders, including the Gulf Coast’s county and municipal officials, along with the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, to ensure that the Corps fully understands the damage caused to the Mississippi Sound.”

The lawsuit will seek relief under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and contain other claims under federal law and Mississippi law.


22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I guess he doesn't give a fuck about the lower Mississippi Delta because it isn't as populated as the coast. Another pandering move right before election time. I bet we never hear another positive update from him on this post election.

Anonymous said...

1:07, the only fuck Hood gives about the Delta is to receive the thousands of black votes that it produces for any Democratic candidate - something he of course takes for granted.

And to think he can sue the Corps for doing the job that their charter requires them to do is ridiculous. Of course, this lawyer thinks he knows much more about engineering and stuff than the Corps since he can measure how many times around the earth lining up millions of swimming pools end to end would circumnavigate it.

Keep on going Mr. Hood - you have two more weeks of pandering until this campaign is over.

Anonymous said...

Hood shoots blanks.

Anonymous said...

The Corps could have sent the water down the Atchafalaya Basin just as easily as it sent it to the MS Sound or BOTH. I guess they flipped a coin and decided the sound was the place to send it.

Anonymous said...

I could file this suit...Hoseman has already done all the work.

Say No to Hood-Wink said...

Well, well, this is another last ditch cynical effort to shore up his (failed) legacy. Loser.

Another Hood-wink failure.

Anonymous said...

Ok, just let it dump down the Ms River, would have done the same thing as the spillway divert. It just occurred due to excessive rain and snow up North. The pumps will not solve the problem either as the 6 inch difference would have made little change in the damage that occurred besides when you pump it over the levee where would it go??

Anonymous said...

Think opening the bonne caire did damage to Mississippi water? Wait till they open the diversion into the batsrtia basin. It will be like the bonne caire, only 24/7/365.

Anonymous said...

All you Tater Tots are worried sick about your brat losing after Waller crippled him. Hoseman, Hood, Gunn, and Fitch will work well together as a team in getting things done vs the little Napoleon.

Anonymous said...

1:57 wrong. It must meet flow requirement set forth in outdated legislation to send it down the atchafalaya. These flow requirements (laws) were not met.

Anonymous said...

@2:18 Look at a map. The spillway divert sent it through Lake Pontchartrain directly to the MS coast. Flowing down the Mississippi would have sent the water out into the gulf. If they were trying to protect New Orleans from flooding then they should have opened the Atchafalaya gates. Why destroy Mississippi to save New Orleans when you can sacrifice other parts of Louisiana. I agree with the lawsuit on this. Mississippi deserves better

Anonymous said...

Hey, he knows what he's doing. He built a road on his farm for crying out loud!

Anonymous said...

2:45, your dream team would work together well, except of course for Gunn. The others are all birds of a feather - Hood, Hosemann and Fitch - and the connection between them all goes back to the same era - 2003 and then 2004.

Anonymous said...

Way to go Jim.

Look after MIssissippi and Mississippians.....not big biz.

People count

Unknown said...

Read the book "Rising Tide - The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America" by John M. Barry. That book is one you can't put down, and explains in great detail how this whole mess came about.

Anonymous said...

So many experts here on all things Delta. And most of you couldn't fine Rolling Fork, Silver City, Mayersville, Anguilla and Cary with a GPS, a case of long-necks and two roadmaps.

Anonymous said...

so the AG gonna sue the fedsand the US army C O E. hummmmmmm..........tbe AG better hope the feds dont counterclaim in his lawsuit for the billions the feds have poured into this third world backwater called mississippi , which in reality is not a state , but rather the biggest federal subsidy in the history of this country.

Anonymous said...

1:06 *find

Anonymous said...

Damn(not Dam) the wetlands and the Gulf.Who needs wetlands and seafood.What we need are more agriculture and new developments. If you want to see wildlife go to the Zoo. Draining wetlands and putting more fresh water in the gulf ain’t my problem as long as you get the water out of my yard. Flood control in the Delta has worked swell since we got that water out of the upper delta and down to the lower delta—that be their problem.. If we could get those pumps Greenville, ,Indianola, Yazoo City, Greenwood and don't forget Louise would flourish again, yep build them and they will come. Our elected and public officials need to focus more on overall economic development and less on those dinosaur anti-environment projects. We do need to help those folks that had homes damaged there and we should all be on that same page as long as rebuilding is above the recent flood elevation.Stop the hate and start thinking new thoughts.

Anonymous said...

@8:48 Spot on. The feds are going to come calling one day with Inspector Generals from every agency auditing every penny of money the state has had access to...it will bankrupt the state into the stone age.

Anonymous said...

to 2:40pm............"damn the wetlands"?.......you are a typical mississippi uneducated redneck who probably lives off federal government farm subsidies , a/k/a white mans welfare. a marine estuary produces more food in the form of fish, shrimp, crabs, oysters than any other ecosystem n the world.

Anonymous said...

2:40 pm here to 10:10 am —look up sarcasm in the dictionary and re-read my comments again. Thanks for taking the bait.I’m on your side.

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