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Did lawsuits stall levee upgrades? [View All]

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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-17-05 03:06 PM
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Did lawsuits stall levee upgrades?
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Associated Press

WASHINGTON The Justice Department is seeking information about whether lawsuits by environmental groups hindered efforts to improve New Orleans levees, an effort the Sierra Club and Democratic lawmakers say is aimed at shifting blame for the massive flooding.
The request to federal prosecutors, sent in an e-mail earlier this week, followed harsh criticism of the Bush administration for its initial response to Hurricane Katrina and the breach in New Orleans' levees that sent floodwaters from Lake Pontchartrain pouring into the city.

"Has your district defended any cases on behalf of the Army Corps of Engineers against claims brought by environmental groups seeking to block or otherwise impede the Corps' work on the levees protecting New Orleans? If so, please describe the case and the outcome of the litigation," said the communication, which was read to The Associated Press on Friday by Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse.

David Bookbinder, Sierra Club senior attorney, said the administration "is more interested in building a case to deflect blame than actually underscore what went wrong before, during and after the crisis." <snip>

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