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Government Agencies Miss St. Johns Bayou Deadline

Gage Skidmore

Three government agencies missed their deadline to provide a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the long-delayed St. Johns Bayou And New Madrid Floodway Project.

The Environmental Protection Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service told Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill that a draft EIS would be ready by March 15. 

In a press release, Senator Blunt announced on Monday that he will place a hold on the Obama’s administration’s nominee to head the EPA, Gina McCarthy. He says the hold will continue until the EIS is released.

The project would install pumps and close a gap in the Mississippi River levee system near New Madrid. Illinois political leaders argue the project would increase the risk of flooding in southern Illinois and environmentalists say closing the levee gap would destroy wetland habitat in southeast Missouri.