Senate hearing on Thursday to discuss proposed Yazoo Backwater pumps


WASHINGTON (WJTV) – On Thursday, the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Chemical Safety, Waste Management, Environmental Justice, and Regulatory Oversight will hold a hearing about environment justice. One of the topics that will be discussed is the proposed Yazoo Backwater Pumps in the Mississippi Delta.

Several environmental groups are against the proposed pumps. They said new Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) data shows a large part of the Yazoo Backwater Area will still flood even with the pumps in place. The groups said had the pumps been operating during the 2019 flood, 83% of the lands that flooded would still have been underwater, and it would have taken more than two months for the Pumps to drain the water from the remaining acres.

“Let’s get one thing straight, the Yazoo Pumps are not an environmental justice project because it will not protect underserved communities from flooding,” said Louie Miller, State Director for the Mississippi Chapter of the Sierra Club. “By the Corps’ own admission, 80% of the project benefits go to agribusiness by draining wetlands to intensify farming.”

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said he will advocate for the Yazoo Backwater Pump Project on Thursday.

In his opening remarks to the subcommittee, the senator is expected to highlight the repeated flooding in the South Mississippi Delta that has resulted from a decades long delay in the completion of the Yazoo Backwater Pumps Project.

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