Friday, December 19, 2014
St. John the Baptist Parish – The Army Corps of Engineer Civil Works Review Board unanimously approved release of the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain final Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement for state and agency review. The proposed $718 million project, designed to protect St. John Parish and more than 7,000 structures from Montz to Garyville and St. James Parish, needed the board’s final approval before it can be sent to Congress for funding.
The feasibility study and environmental impact statement will remain open for state and agency review for 30 days. A Chief's Report is expected to be completed by April of 2015 and sent to Congress for authorization and appropriation of funds.
Parish President Natalie Robottom and members of the Parish Council defended and supported the recommended plan before the Civil Works Review Board during a September trip to Washington D.C. In October, the project was delayed while district representatives addressed concerns in the draft report. The report was approved during a conference call early Friday morning with representatives from the local, state and federal level on the call.
"It is truly a momentous day for St. John Parish and we remain committed to seeing this levee built and our residents protected,” said President Robottom. “The vulnerabilities of no protection were exposed during Hurricane Isaac and today’s vote suggests that the Corps of Engineers is ready to put this plan into action.”