Mid-Barataria project will work to protect vulnerable communities in Louisiana from hurricanes and sea level rise, while combating the effects of climate change
Permitting Council Press Office (Media@fpisc.gov)
WASHINGTON (December 28, 2022) – The Permitting Council is excited to announce the completion of the environmental review process for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion project. This FAST-41 covered project is focused on restoring Louisiana’s Barataria Basin, which is experiencing some of the highest levels of land loss in the country, threatening the welfare of residents and the local ecosystem.
“I am extremely proud of the coordinated and collaborative work done by our state partners and Permitting Council member agencies to bring the permitting process for this innovative infrastructure project to conclusion,” says Christine Harada, Permitting Council Executive Director. “Once constructed, this project will serve as a game-changer for the Louisiana coastline and its inhabitants, as the State of Louisiana works to provide life-saving storm protection for residents and curb the effects of climate change.”
Sponsored by the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), the project will reintroduce freshwater and sediment from the Mississippi River to the Barataria Basin to build, sustain, and maintain land in an area that is experiencing extreme land loss. The project will reconnect the Mississippi River to its wetlands, ultimately working to protect some of the most vulnerable residents in the state, in addition to sustaining the ecosystem and wildlife on the coast. This area is also one of the most affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and this project will work to remediate the decade-long damage still being experienced.
Originally posted to the FAST-41 Permitting Dashboard in 2017, this project was first conceived as part of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers feasibility study in 1984. The conclusion of the permitting process brings to fruition this effort to counteract decades of land loss and environmental instability for local residents. CPRA plans to begin construction in 2023, pending the approval of funding by the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group, the agency charged with restoring Louisiana’s natural resources after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
To learn more about the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion project, visit the Permitting Council website.
About the Permitting Council
Established in 2015 by Title 41 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST-41), the Permitting Council is a unique Federal agency charged with improving the transparency and predictability of the Federal environmental review and authorization process for certain critical infrastructure projects. The Permitting Council is comprised of the Permitting Council Executive Director, who serves as the Council Chair; 13 Federal agency Council members (including deputy secretary-level designees of the Secretaries of Agriculture, Army, Commerce, Interior, Energy, Transportation, Defense, Homeland Security, and Housing and Urban Development, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Chairs of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation); and the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
The Permitting Council coordinates Federal environmental reviews and authorizations for projects that seek and qualify for FAST-41 coverage. FAST-41 covered projects are entitled to comprehensive permitting timetables and transparent, collaborative management of those timetables on the Federal Permitting Dashboard. FAST-41 covered projects may be in the renewable or conventional energy production, electricity transmission, surface transportation, aviation, ports and waterways, water resource, broadband, pipelines, manufacturing, mining, carbon capture, semiconductors, artificial intelligence and machine learning, high-performance computing and advanced computer hardware and software, quantum information science and technology, data storage and data management, and cybersecurity sectors.