Floodway meeting

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The St. Johns Bayou and New Madrid Floodway Project may have some traction.

Later this month the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will hold meetings in East Prairie, Mo., and Cairo, Ill., to receive public input on the project. An initial environmental-impact statement has been crafted, and the opportunity for public input lasts 45 days from July 26.

Delayed for six years, the project received more attention when U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt refused to confirm the president's EPA administrator nominee until consensus was reached by associated agencies.

The floodway project would close a levee gap of 1,500 feet along the Mississippi River and help with pumping stations. What's at stake would protect farmland from flooding, but environmentalists worry it will destroy wetland habitat.

If you would like to comment on this project, meetings will be held in two parts at each location. Part one for the East Prairie meeting begins at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 27 at the First Church of God. The second half starts at 6 p.m. The same times will be used for the Aug. 28 meeting at the Cairo Junior/Senior High School.

Written comments may be emailed to Corps project manager Danny Ward at daniel.d.ward@usace.army.mil or Joshua Koontz, National Environmental Policy Act coordinator, at joshua.m.koontz@usace.army.mil. Written comments may be mailed to Ward at Project Management Branch, 167 N. Main St., Room B-202, Memphis, TN 38103-1894.

We encourage those with input to attend one of the meetings.

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