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Reply #3: Wrong levees [View All]

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ThoughtCriminal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-17-05 03:36 PM
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3. Wrong levees
Edited on Sat Sep-17-05 04:08 PM by ThoughtCriminal
http://sierraclub.org/scoop/
<snip>
In fact, some factions on the right have already blamed environmentalists for the levee failures in New Orleans. In particular, they point to a suit filed to halt an Army Corps of Engineers' 1996 plan to raise and fortify more than 300 miles of Mississippi River levees with fill from surrounding wetlands. But as Jerry Mitchell of the Clarion-Ledger points out, "The levees that broke causing New Orleans to flood weren't Mississippi River levees. They were levees that protected the city from Lake Pontchartrain levees on the other side of the city."
<snip>
=======================================

Now - let's take a look at what was happening at the Industrial canal


http://sierraclub.org/scoop/archive/2005_09_08_index.asp
<snip>
Before Hurricane Katrina breached a levee on the New Orleans Industrial Canal, the Army Corps of Engineers had already launched a $748 million construction project at that very location. But the project had nothing to do with flood control. The Corps was building a huge new lock for the canal, an effort to accommodate steadily increasing barge traffic.

Except that barge traffic on the canal has been steadily decreasing.
Environmentalists and taxpayer advocates flagged the project as a major boondoggle and residents of a low-income black neighborhood in New Orleans even sued the Corps. Grunwald reports:
Pam Dashiell, president of the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association, remembers holding a protest against the lock four years ago -- right where the levee broke Aug. 30. Now she's holed up with her family in a St. Louis hotel, and her neighborhood is underwater. "Our politicians never cared half as much about protecting us as they cared about pork," Dashiell said.
<snip>

On edit: I should also note that this was NOT a flood control project, and one of the reasons that the Holy Cross neighborhood objected was that the project could INCREASE the risk of flooding and marine accidents.


--------------------------

And if they REALLY want to tale about enviromentalists, let's talk about wetland destruction and storm surge:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/katrina/story/0,16441,1561356,00.html

"The Bush administration's policy of turning over wetlands to developers almost certainly has contributed to the heightened level of the storm surge. In 1990, a federal task force began restoring lost wetlands around New Orleans. Every two miles of wetland between the Crescent City and the Gulf reduces a surge by half a foot. Bush promised a "no net loss" wetland policy, which had been launched by his father's administration and bolstered by President Clinton. But he reversed the approach in 2003, unleashing the developers. The army corps of engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency announced they could no longer protect wetlands unless they were somehow related to interstate commerce. In response to this potential crisis, four leading environmental groups conducted a study that concluded in 2004 that without wetlands protection New Orleans could be devastated by an ordinary - much less a category four or five - hurricane. "There's no way to describe how mindless a policy that is when it comes to wetlands protection," said one of the report's authors. The chairman of the White House's council on environmental quality dismissed the study as "highly questionable", and boasted: "Everybody loves what we're doing."
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