Override EPA veto

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Currently, the Mississippi South Delta Area is facing the largest backwater flood since the completion the Yazoo Backwater Levees and Drainage Structures in 1978.  The Yazoo Backwater Project was authorized by the federal government to protect life and property, except one final critical feature of the project has yet to be constructed - the Yazoo Backwater Pumping Plant.

Without the pumping plant in place, floodwaters will continue to devastate the South Delta region. This is our ninth separate flood event since 2008 that has cost more than $400 million in that timeframe alone. This year’s flood will inundate more than 500,000 acres of land in six counties and cost even more money and wreak misery on the people that live and do business in our region.  Many highways and major roads are overtopped with backwater making travel and access difficult or impossible for residents traveling to and from home, work, and school.  In the least educated counties of the US, children are unable to even attend school.  Many homes are flooded and others are currently being ring-leveed in an attempt to save them.  80,000 acres of state and national forests are underwater leaving all wildlife stranded and starving.  The residents in the South Delta are stressed out and angry that the Environmental Protection Agency vetoed the pumps in 2008 creating this disaster.

We urge our Congressional Delegation to continue their efforts to get the Environmental Protection Agency to rescind their misguided 2008 veto of the project and/or work to achieve Congressional direction to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to immediately begin constructing the final piece of the authorized Yazoo Backwater Project. Without this final piece in place, the United States government has effectively abandoned an entire region of the country and will continue to make it vulnerable in the coming years.

We are pleased that other areas of the Yazoo Basin and the Lower Mississippi Valley have received the full benefits of the plan, but we hope Congress and the Administration will make it a top priority to finish their work – the construction of a pumping plant like dozens of others throughout the Lower Mississippi Valley that were authorized and built by the Corps of Engineers.