U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, today sent a letter to Colonel Richard Hansen, Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District, regarding the Corps’ recent decision to expropriate private land in order to fulfill their mitigation requirements under the West Bank and Vicinity hurricane protection project.
“With people’s livelihoods at stake, the Corps should be focused on completing the West Bank and Vicinity project in the most efficient and timely manner possible. However, their choosing to expropriate private lands, which is a lengthy and convoluted process, unnecessarily prolongs this project, and that is unacceptable,” said Vitter.
In the letter, Vitter urges the Corps to consider the use of mitigation banks for the West Bank and Vicinity mitigation requirement, as laid out in the Water Resources Development Act of 2007.
Vitter was the lead Senate Republican negotiator on the recently passed Water Resources and Reform Development Act (WRRDA). Vitter worked to include in the bill expanded opportunities and effective coordination throughout the mitigation process for Corps projects, including new requirements for the Corps to use qualified mitigation plans.
Press Release, July 11, 2014