Southwest Pass MS River Denial of Consistency Determination Keith Lovell, Administrator Interagency Affairs & Field Services Division Office of Coastal Management Department of Natural Resources
Timeline: • January 29, 2009 – OCM Issued Conditional Consistency • (Conditions Refused by Corps) • February 2009 – SW Pass working group was convened. • August 2009 – Working Group issued White Paper to Corps • November 23, 2009 – OCM Denied Consistency • October 13, 2010 – OCM Denied Consistency • October 7, 2011 – Denied
Importance of SW Pass of MS River: • OCM is wholly aware of the economic and strategic value, to the State and the Nation, of safe and unencumbered navigation of the Mississippi River. • OCM recognize that dredging Southwest Pass to maintain such a dynamic channel is a complex and challenging task. • The intent of the State is for the Corps to continue to maintain the full authorized channel dimensions so navigation and maritime commerce on the river are not compromised and that beneficial use becomes an integral part of the management of the lower river.
Consistency Denial: • OCM determined that proposed activity is inconsistent with the Louisiana Coastal Resources Program. • OCM’s objection lies solely with the unsound dredged material disposal practices proposed for this valuable resource. • Insufficient funding is no justification for failure to achieve full consistency with Louisiana’s Coastal Resources Program. The Corps must seek adequate funding from Congress for the maintenance activity. Per federal • consistency regulations at • 15 CFR 930.32(3)
Maintenance of Southwest Pass: • We reiterate that neither the Department of Natural Resources Office of Coastal Management nor the State of Louisiana has any wish for navigation of the River to be impeded, and we urge the NOD to forego that course of action.