St. John The Baptist Parish News Release

Corp Releases Draft Report for the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain Levee Project

Corp Releases Draft Report for the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain Levee Project

Friday, August 23, 2013

ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), New Orleans District released its West Shore Lake Pontchartrain (WSLP) Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction Study Integrated Draft Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement earlier today.

Based on current analysis, Alternative C is the draft Tentatively Selected Plan (TSP). This alternative includes a levee from the Bonnet Carré Spillway to Hope Canal to the Mississippi River. However, before this alternative can be confirmed, the Corps must fully review and evaluate all comments received during a 45 day public comment period.
“I am extremely pleased that the Corp of Engineers followed through with providing their recommendation in a year’s time; however, clearly any community outside a levee system remains vulnerable to flooding. The preferred alignment would have protected the River Parishes which is still the goal. During the 45 day comment period residents will have an opportunity to address any deficiencies or remaining concerns,” said Parish President Natalie Robottom.
According to the USACE report, Alternative C is 18 miles in length, includes Montz, LaPlace, Reserve, and Garyville protecting 16,919 structures and is the alternative that avoids a pipelines corridor. The estimated cost of the TSP is $888,351,070. The cost sharing for the planning, design, and construction of the project will be 65% Federal and 35% Non-Federal. (Federal: $577,428,196, non-Federal: $310,922,875) “The longer the project and process continues, costs will continue to increase until the levee is constructed,” added Robottom.

Residents and interested stakeholders are invited to comment on the report which contacts a description of the project, an evaluation of the four alternatives under consideration and an analysis of potential environmental impacts.

St. John the Baptist Parish Council members were pleased that the tentative design was released and encourage residents to provide comments during the 45 day comment period.

Public Meeting Details
St. John the Baptist Parish
When: September 17, 2013
6:00 to 6:30 p.m. – Open house and opportunity to provide one-on-one comments to a certified court reporter
6:30 to 7:00 p.m. – Brief presentation outlining the project and planning process
7:00 to 8:30 p.m. – Acceptance of public comments
Where: St. John Community Center, 2900 Hwy. 51, Laplace, La. 70068

In addition to comments received during the public meeting, the Corps will accept written comments between August 23, 2013 and October 7, 2013.

Comments on the integrated report should be directed to:
William Klein
Regional Planning and Environment Division - South
New Orleans District, Corps of Engineers
P.O. Box 60267
New Orleans, Louisiana 70160-0267
Comments may also be sent to WSLPAdmin@usace.army.mil

Copies of the report are available for public review during regular business hours at the following locations:
• St. John the Baptist Parish Library, 2920 New Highway 51, LaPlace, La. 70068
• St. James Parish Library,1879 West Main Street, Lutcher, La. 70071
• Earl K. Long Library – University of New Orleans, 2000 Lakeshore Dr., New Orleans, La. 70148

The report is also available online at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District website:
<www.mvn.usace.army.mil> at the WSLP project page:
<http://www.mvn.usace.army.mil/About/Projects/WestShoreLakePontchartrain.aspx> or at www.sjbparish.com

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