U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today announced that Morganza to the Gulf is in the final Water Resources and Development Act legislation that the Senate and House will vote on in the coming weeks.
The project’s inclusion comes after months of work by Sen. Landrieu and her Senate colleagues to fix a fundamental flaw in the House version of the water infrastructure bill that would have prohibited the project from being authorized in this bill and prevented federal funding from being used for its construction.
Last month, Sen. Landrieu wrote to the chairman and ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, urging them to review the project during the April 29th hearing after getting no response to her letter on the project last September. After receiving the letter, the committee held the necessary hearing that removed the final obstacle for the project to be included in the water infrastructure bill.
“For more than two decades, the Army Corps has spent $72 million studying this project and not a dime on construction. With Morganza in the final water infrastructure bill, we have the green light needed to move this critical flood protection project forward and protect the people of Terrebonne and Lafourche so they can live where they work to power the nation and drive the economy,” Sen. Landrieu said. “While today is a victory, our work is not over until this project is built and the people of Lafourche and Terrebonne have the flood protection they need and deserve. I hope the same spirit of bipartisanship that helped craft the final version of the bill continues through the appropriations process to provide the significant funding necessary to take Morganza from the drawing board to construction site. I applaud Sen. Boxer and Sen. Vitter for their leadership on this vital water infrastructure bill.”
Morganza to the Gulf is a series of levees, locks and other flood control features that will provide vital protection to Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes. The two parishes are home to 200,000 people and 1,700 square miles of land. Despite being authorized by Congress twice in the last 20 years, it has been stalled due to bureaucratic delays, study reviews and lack of funding.
When the House released its water infrastructure bill last fall that did not include Morganza to the Gulf, Sen. Landrieu signaled that she would not allow the bill to pass without the critical project. Speaking on the Senate floor, Sen. Landrieu said: “The people in our state cannot survive without levees, and the country cannot survive without our people living where we go to fish, to run the maritime, to run the oil and industry.”
Press Release, May 9, 2014