The project’s permitting process is now scheduled to be complete by August 2019
The Louisiana Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion project’s timeline has accelerated after the Trump administration agreed to shorten the permitting process. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers previously expected the permitting process to take until 2022, but the new deadline for the decision is August 2019. Regulation changes are follow President Trump’s declaration during the State of the Union address to accelerate regulatory processes for the sake of expediting infrastructure improvements.
The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion project will aim to solve coastal erosion by installing a control gate in the Mississippi River levee to send sediment filled water into the Barataria Basin, instead of downriver into the Gulf of Mexico. However, the project faces many challenges and concerns to be addressed in the coming years.
One such challenge is the possibility that the potential control gate could disrupt the flood protection levees along the Mississippi leading to flooding in other areas. Another concern is the environmental impact on pouring fresh water into the wetlands of Barataria Basin. Particularly, the basin is home to a large population of bottlenose dolphins, which typically do not thrive in freshwater.