Appeals court upholds veto of costly, damaging Yazoo Pumps projectMarch 7th, 2012
Amy Kober, 503-708-1145
Washington, DC – In a victory for clean water, flood protection and taxpayers, a federal appeals court yesterday upheld a 2008 veto by the Environmental Protection Agency of the Yazoo Pumps, a wetlands-destruction project in Mississippi. The Yazoo Pumps, first proposed by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1941, would have cost $220 million in federal tax dollars and drained up to 200,000 acres of the South’s most precious wetlands (an area equal to the size of New York City, including all five boroughs).
American Rivers led the charge to stop the Yazoo Pumps boondoggle and named Mississippi’s Big Sunflower River one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers® in 2002, 2003, and 2004, because of the enormous damage the project would have caused to the river.
The veto by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2008 was only the 12th time in its entire history that the agency used its role to stop an environmentally devastating project.
The President of American Rivers, Bob Irvin, made the following statement:
“The court’s decision is another big win for clean water and taxpayers and hopefully puts an end to the Yazoo Pumps boondoggle for good.
The people of the Mississippi Delta deserve real flood protection solutions. This project would have damaged wetlands that can store roughly 200 billion gallons of floodwaters. To destroy this free natural flood protection would have been unconscionable, especially when floods are becoming more frequent and more severe.”