Plaquemines Parish President upset over samples taken from diversion project

Plaquemines Parish President upset over samples taken from diversion project

PLAQUEMINES PARISH, LA (WVUE) - The Plaquemines Parish President says he is angry after learning that that state took soil samples at the site of a coastal restoration project without consent from the local government.

Plaquemines Parish President Amos Cormier says he received a text from the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority about taking the samples, but they did not have the permits to do so.

Cormier says CPRA applied for the permits back in April to drill soil borings for the Mid-Barataria Diversion Project, which were not granted.

CPRA has threatened to sue parish government to force samples at the site in June which were not filed. Wednesday, State Troopers could be seen protecting the sites where soil borings are being taken.

The proposed $1.4 billion diversion plan to build land by channeling fresh water and sediment into the marsh and Barataria Bay.

Commercial fishermen and residents in Plaquemines Parish fear the large amounts of fresh water, up to 75,000 cubic feet per second would devastate fisheries and threaten the coastal economy.

CPRA believes this would be the best solution to rebuild the coast and the samples will provide valuable information for the environmental impact statement required by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Cormier says he was shocked that CPRA would take the soil borings without the proper permits.

"This constitutes a deliberate, and premeditated act of bad faith and in violation of law," says Cormier.

Governor John Bel Edwards later responded to Cormier's statement.

"That soil boring is taking place on private property. It's not taking place on the public property yet, but we're actually working with the Parish government down there, parish president and the council people and all the folks of Plaquemines Parish. We have to move forward with this project."

Cormier says the Army Corps of Engineers will be conducting a review and parish leaders will be looking at different options moving forward and discussing them with the council.

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