Appeals court upholds veto of costly, damaging Yazoo Pumps project

March 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.”


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About American Rivers

About American Rivers

American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and an annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 200,000 members, supporters, and volunteers.

Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Find your connections at AmericanRivers.org, Facebook.com/AmericanRivers, and Twitter.com/AmericanRivers.