Take Action Against the Destructive Yazoo Pumps Project
The Trump Administration is again pushing the destructive Yazoo Pumps in Mississippi. Please help fight this disastrous project by signing on to WPN member Mississippi River Network (MRN)'s group letter by Friday, June 12, 2020 at 5:00pm CT.
On April 16, the Corps of Engineers published a notice of intent to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Yazoo Pumps. This SEIS will look at the same project that was vetoed under Clean Water Act Section 404(c) in 2008 by the George W. Bush Administration to protect 200,000 acres of ecologically significant wetlands. This is a project that many WPN members have fought against for years. The SEIS will not examine any alternatives to the vetoed project, in direct violation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Please join MRN's group sign-on letter, and consider taking further action by submitting comments from your organization, encouraging public comments through an action alert, or other actions suggested in this toolkit from MRN. Scoping comments must be submitted by June 15, 2020.
Resources to engage in the fight against Yazoo Pumps:
- Submit comments directly to the Corps of Engineers by the Monday, June 15, 2020 comment deadline:
- By email: YazooBackwater@usace.army.mil
- By mail: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg District, ATTN: CEMVK-PPMD, 4155 East Clay Street, Room 248, Vicksburg, MS 39183
- By phone: Mr. Kenneth Parrish at 601-631-5006
- Messaging and communications toolkit: To support organizations engaging in the fight against the destructive Yazoo Pumps, MRN has launched this communications and messaging toolkit. The toolkit provides guidance for top line messaging, talking points, submitting unique comment letters, social media, action alerts, and more.
- Group sign on letter: Click here to read and join MRN's organizational sign-on letter by Friday, June 12, 2020 4:00pm ET/5:00pm CT. Organizations can sign on to the group letter and also submit their own comment letters. If you have any questions about the toolkit or sign-on letter, please email Maisah at email@example.com.
- Read the Federal Register notice: Notice of Intent To Prepare Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Yazoo Area Pump Project. Click here for a PDF of the notice.
- Read the January 2018 group letter from Water Protection Network members and partners against Yazoo Pumps.
- The Yazoo Pumps would threaten the nationally significant wetlands of Mississippi's Big Sunflower River. Learn more here about why the Big Sunflower River was listed as #3 on WPN member American Rivers' Most Endangered Rivers of 2020 report, and take action here.
Water Resources Development Act Update
Congress continues its work on the next Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), the bill that authorizes projects and policy changes for the Corps of Engineers. In early May, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works unanimously passed
this amended version of the bill
. Click here
for a recording of the Committee's Business Meeting about the bill. The House of Representatives is expected to provide a draft of its WRDA bill around the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a hearing on Representatives' proposals for WRDA
in late February.
for the Corps of Engineers' 7001 Report notice for non-federal sponsors to submit project proposals for inclusion in WRDA.
Lawsuit Filed Challenging the Corps' Management Plan for the Middle Mississippi River
Five WPN members - the National Wildlife Federation, American Rivers, Prairie Rivers Network, Missouri Coalition for the Environment, and Great Rivers Habitat Alliance - have filed a lawsuit against the Corps of Engineers, arguing the agency did not properly evaluate the impacts of its plan for managing a 195-mile section of the Mississippi River between St. Louis, Missouri, and Cairo, Illinois. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, challenges the Corps’ Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Regulating Works Project, which guides the Corps’ management of this section of the Mississippi River. The plaintiffs argue that the Corps failed to properly evaluate the risk of increased flooding from building additional river training structures; did not adequately consider the impacts on fish, birds, and other wildlife; and ignored mitigation requirements.
Read more from St. Louis Public Radio: Environmental Groups Sue Corps Of Engineers, Claim River Barriers Worsen Flooding, or in these press releases from a few of the plaintiffs: National Wildlife Federation, Missouri Coalition for the Environment, and Prairie Rivers Network.
Selected News & Resources
Reports from the Government Accountability Office
Rollbacks to Environmental and Public Health Protections
Other News & Resources
Click here to see the pandemic resources for people and nonprofits that were shared in a previous WPN Update. If you would like to share news, resources, or something else in future WPN Updates, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recent Public Notices
This is a non-comprehensive list of Corps of Engineers public notices from the Federal Register and Corps district websites, and select notices from other federal agencies. Please visit FederalRegister.gov, Corps division and district websites, and other federal agencies' websites for additional public notices. Click here for examples of comments and letters submitted to the Corps by WPN members.
Corps of Engineers Notices
- Published 5/21: Lake View Recreation Trail at Lucky Peak Dam and Lake draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and Environmental Assessment (EA), Boise, ID (Comment deadline 6/21)
- Published 5/20: Dredged material management area (DMMA) at Site O-23 Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and proposed Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), Martin County, FL (Comment deadline 6/18)
- Published 5/19: Broward County Segment II Beach Renourishment Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and proposed Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), FL (Comment deadline 6/18)
- Published 5/18: National Wetland Plant List (Effective 5/18)
- Published 5/16: 2020 Recommended Plan for the Río Antón Ruíz project located in the Humacao Natural Reserve in Humacao, Puerto Rico (Comment deadline 6/11)
- Published 5/15: Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and Proposed Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for features of the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) South, FL (Comment deadline 6/15)
- Published 5/15: Notice of Adverse Effects to the Old Hickory Power Plant and intent to develop a Memorandum of Agreement under the National Historic Preservation Act (Comment deadline 6/15)
- Published 5/14: Picayune Strand Restoration Project (PSRP) Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and Proposed Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), FL (Comment deadline 6/12)
- Published 5/12: Draft Environmental Assessment for sanitary sewer and water main system improvement project, Wilton, ND (Comment deadline 6/10)
- Published 5/07: Proposed Collection; Comment Request (Comment deadline 7/6)
- Published 5/06: Draft environmental assessment for surplus water use at Lake Sakakawea, ND (Comment deadline 6/26)
- Published 5/06: Charleston Peninsula Coastal Flood Risk Management Study (Comment deadline 6/19)
- Published 5/05: Termination of Upper Susquehanna River Basin, New York Comprehensive Flood Damage Reduction Feasibility Study
- Published 5/01: Public Notice of Programmatic Agreement Development for State of Utah (Comment deadline 6/1)
- Published 5/01: 7001 Report, Proposals by Non-Federal Interests, for Feasibility Studies, Proposed Modifications to Authorized Water Resources Development Projects and Feasibility Studies, and Proposed Modifications for an Environmental Infrastructure Program for Inclusion in the Annual Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development (Proposal deadline 8/31)
- Published 4/30: Final draft revision of the Master Plan for Lewisville Lake, TX (Comment deadline 6/22)
- Published 4/29: Scoping period for revision of the Ice Harbor Master Plan, WA (Comment deadline 6/15)
- Published 4/29: Draft Environmental Assessment and Unsigned Finding of No Significant Impact for Revision of 1998 Dale Hollow Dam and Reservoir Water Control Manual, TN and KY (Comment deadline 6/2)
- Published 4/28: Draft RECOVER Northern Estuaries Draft Salinity Envelope Performance Measure, FL (Comment deadline 5/28)
- Published 4/28: Draft Environmental Assessment for Gavins Point Dam underseepage control measures, SD (Comment deadline 5/27)
- Published 4/28: Draft environmental assessment for a proposal to implement additional underseepage control measures at Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD (Comment deadline 5/27)
- Published 4/27: Draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Assessment on Elim Subsistence Harbor Report, Alaska (Comment deadline 5/28)
- Published 4/27: Port of New Orleans Access Channel Deepening Feasibility Study (PONO) Draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) (Comment deadline not specified)
- Published 4/24: Draft Environmental Assessment for proposal to repair several Salt Creek Dams in and around Lincoln, Nebraska (Comment deadline 5/23)
- Published 4/22: Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment #571 (SEA #571) West Shore Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction Levee System St. Charles and St. John the Baptist Parishes, Louisiana (Comment deadline 5/23)
- Published 4/22: Updated draft oil and gas management plan, and new programmatic environmental assessment, for the Lake Sakakawea/Garrison Dam Project in North Dakota (Comment deadline 5/22)
- Published 4/22: Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Environmental Impact Report (EIR) Addendum for the Lower Norco Bluffs Toe Protection (Lower Norco Bluffs) portion of the Santa Ana River Mainstem Flood Control Project (SARMP), CA (Comment deadline not specified)
Other Agency Notices
- Published 5/21 by EPA: Request for Comment on Whether EPA's Approval of a Clean Water Act Section 404 Program Is Non-Discretionary for Purposes of Endangered Species Act Section 7 Consultation (Comment deadline 7/6)
- Published 5/14 by the Bureau of Reclamation: Notice of Intent To Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the B.F. Sisk Dam Raise and Reservoir Expansion Project, Merced County, CA (Comment deadline 6/15)
- Published 5/13 by EPA: Final Rule: Withdrawal of Certain Federal Water Quality Criteria Applicable to Washington (Effective 6/12)
- Published 5/12 by the Office of the President: Executive Order: Promoting American Seafood Competitiveness and Economic Growth
- Published 5/01 by the Bureau of Land Management: National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures for the Bureau of Land Management (516 DM 11) (Categorical exclusions effective 6/1)
- Published 4/22 by NRCS: Notice of Availability of the Mississippi Trustee Implementation Group Draft Restoration Plan II Environmental Assessment: Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats and Oysters (Comment deadline 5/22)
- Published 4/22 by FEMA: Changes in Flood Hazard Determinations in counties in AK, AZ, CA, IL, MI, NV, NY (Effective dates and comment deadlines vary by location - see notice for details)
- Published 4/21 by the Corps and EPA: Final Rule: The Navigable Waters Protection Rule: Definition of “Waters of the United States” (Effective on 6/22) See this past WPN Update for more information.