March 18, 2013
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Claire McCaskill (Mo.) released the
following joint statement today after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) failed to meet a self-imposed deadline on March 15, 2013 to report their progress on the decades-long delay in the St. Johns Bayou and New Madrid Floodway project:
“We’re incredibly disappointed and frustrated that a final resolution is still caught up in ridiculous and unnecessary government bureaucracy. These agencies missed their own self-imposed deadline to get on the same page and provide us with answers,” said the Missouri Senators. “We’ve been promised real movement on this issue in the next few weeks, and that’s what we expect to see. We’re going to keep up the pressure because Southeast Missourians have already waited far too long for a final resolution.”
Representatives from the three agencies told the Senators last week that, while they were closer to releasing the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for public comment, they were still unable to provide a timeline for exactly when that would occur, promising significant movement in the coming weeks.
McCaskill had previously written to the heads of the EPA and the Fish and Wildlife Service in December 2012 regarding the delay, demanding that the agencies reach a resolution in 30 days and present a new EIS in 60 days. When the agencies failed to meet the Senator’s demand, Blunt and McCaskill organized an in-person meeting on February 27, 2013 in which the agencies promised a report on measurable progress by March 15, 2013. Blunt and former Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson also wrote a letter in September 2012 calling on the Army Corps to provide answers regarding the project delay.
The proposed St. Johns Bayou and New Madrid Floodway Project would address frequent flooding in Southeast Missouri. Progress towards a final determination on the project has been delayed due to disagreements between federal agencies.
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