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Mississippi Delta flood control project vetoed by EPA

Tuesday saw the Environmental Protection Agency – EPA rejecting a federal plan put forth by the Army Corps of Engineers. This plan detailed their intention to construct a water pump on Mississippi Delta proposed to be the largest in the world.

This $220 million project, first authorized in the year 1941 proposed to drain 57,000 acres of wetlands in Yazoo River Basin. This area is the most thinly populated in Mississippi. Situated around 200 miles to the northwest of New Orleans, this project which would have benefited soyabean farmers affected by flooding, came under the scrutiny of environmentalists. They claim that the water quality would be affected and the wetlands, which are a home to migratory birds and endangered species of fishes, would be destroyed.

The EPA under a Clean Water Act endorsing the view of the environmentalists vetoed this project out. According to an EPA press release, “unacceptable damage to valuable resources” would have resulted if this project was carried through. EPA specified that these resources were used for recreational, economic and wildlife purposes.

EPA said this project was the largest to be vetoed under the Clean Water Act. A total of 12 projects have been vetoed under this act so far including blocking a dam and a shopping mall.

Though there is widespread public support to this decision by EPA, this project which is endorsed by powerful Congress advocates could be challenged in court according to reports from the Wall Street Journal.

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