Bad Project Stopped – The Washington Parish Reservoir - Update

Wash Parish Reservoir USACE.JPG

US Army Corps of Engineers received an application for a 404 permit to dam up Bogue Lusa Creek approximately 5.8 miles south of the city of Sheridan and conduct mechanized land clearing for the creation of an approximately 3,262 acre reservoir in Washington Parish, Louisiana. The applicant’s stated project purpose was to provide water, recharge aquifers and provide recreation areas and economic development opportunities… The impoundment would produce a long, thin, five finger lake 5.5 miles long and up to 3,000 ft wide.

This is an old style development boondoggle that is supported by local political and land development interests and strongly opposed by local residents. Sierra Club Delta Chapter worked with local residents to stop this project ten years ago. Now it came up again. Gulf Restoration Network and Sierra Club Delta Chapter worked to question the need for the project and to identify the problems with justifying this project in the face of numerous environmental impacts. Documents going back ten years identify rare, endangered, or otherwise significant plant and animal species and plant communities” which are present and would be affected by the proposed impoundment.

Delta Chapter wrote sets of comments to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, and the US Army Corps of Engineers which reference existing scientific evidence and concerns about negative effects of the reservoir on Louisiana Scenic Rivers in the watershed. The proposed impoundment of the Bogue Lusa Creek would impact the entire Pearl River Basin and seven scenic rivers in the Basin. We wrote to LDEQ to oppose the issuance of a Water Quality Certification because the reservoir would negatively impact water quality and wildlife habitat and was not justified by the evidence presented. Sierra Club Delta Chapter requested a public hearing and an Environmental Impact Statement. We feel that construction of the reservoir cannot be justified when all the negative aspects of the proposed project are considered.

Update - The USACE 404 permit for this project was denied on June 18, 2015. This represents a big victory for Sierra Club Delta Chapter, Gulf Restoration Network, the local communities and all who were engaged in stopping this really bad project.

Here is the formal project description and application for the
USACE 404 permit.

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