USACE publishes record of decision for Yazoo Area Pumps Project

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VICKSBURG, Miss. (WJTV) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) published its Record of Decision for the Yazoo Area Pumps Project on Friday, January 15.

The Record of Decision details USACE’s decisions on the issues discussed in the Final Supplement No. 2 to the 1982 Yazoo Area Pump Project Final Environmental Impact Statement, which was published in the Federal Register in December 2020. The Record of Decision was signed by USACE Maj. Gen. Diana Holland, Commanding General, Mississippi Valley Division.

The Record of Decision is available on the USACE Vicksburg District’s website.

“We are extremely pleased to complete another important step of the National Environmental Policy Act process,” said USACE Vicksburg District Commander Col. Robert Hilliard. “Factoring in the realities of science and engineering, our state and federal partners provided invaluable insight during their comment period, which we carefully considered while developing this document. We appreciate the support of our higher headquarters, the Mississippi Valley Division, throughout this process, and we remain committed to providing sustainable solutions to flooding in the South Delta.”

The project’s proposed plan includes both structural and nonstructural features, including a 14,000 cubic feet per second pump station with a year-round pump elevation of 87 feet National Geodetic Vertical Datum 29 (NGVD), located near Deer Creek; and acquisition and reforestation/conservation features on up to 2,700 acres of agricultural lands at or near elevation 87 feet, NGVD, through perpetual easements from willing sellers. The mitigation feature of the project includes the acquisition and reforestation of 2,405 acres of frequently flooded agricultural land from willing sellers and the installation of 34 supplemental low flow groundwater wells to improve low flow conditions in delta streams.

“With the signing of today’s Record of Decision, we no longer have a proposal, we have an approved project.  It is the long-awaited green light to move forward with the Corps’ new pump proposal to at last bring better flood control to the South Delta,” U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith said.  “Completing this project will improve public safety, the environment, and the economy for Mississippi and the nation.”

“Today is a monumental day for the South Delta. For too long, residents have suffered losses and damages from preventable backwater flooding. The Yazoo Backwater Pumps will bring much-needed relief and certainty,” U.S. Senator Roger Wicker said. “I commend the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA for listening to the voices of so many Delta residents and moving this project forward.”

“The Army Corps of Engineers has devoted a lot of time and resources in the advancement of this important project,” Rep. Michael Guest said. “Along with thousands of pleased Mississippians, I am thankful for their hard work. With their research and proposed plan, we can finally begin moving forward on the highly anticipated pumps project that will protect the livelihoods of Delta residents in an economically and environmentally responsible manner.”

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