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Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion Project

Client: Mid-Barataria

Areas of Expertise: Environmental

The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion (MBSD) is a project proposed for construction and operation by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) of Louisiana to restore and sustain freshwater marshes by diverting sediment and nutrient-rich waters from the Mississippi River into the Barataria Basin. The project consists of a multi-component river diversion system intended to convey sediment, fresh water, and nutrients from the Mississippi River to the mid-Barataria Basin through an intake structure and conveyance channel complex.

GEC was chosen to prepare the required third-party Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, on behalf of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), New Orleans District (CEMVN) to analyze the potential adverse and beneficial impacts of the proposed project on the natural and human environment. The EIS provides the environmental review necessary to address federal, state, and local permits, approvals, and authorizations for the proposed project. In addition to informing the USACE 10/404 and Section 408 permit decisions, the EIS informs decisions that the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group (LA TIG) may make regarding restoration planning in the Barataria Basin under the Oil Pollution Act.

This complex and highly controversial project is the first of its kind to be considered subject to the requirements set forth in Title 41 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act and the first project included on the Permitting Dashboard for which USACE is the lead federal agency. Additionally, the project includes seven cooperating agencies, 10 commenting agencies, and 11 consulting tribes for the NEPA process; and 10 cooperating agencies, four participating agencies, and three participating tribes in the FAST-41 process. In particular, this EIS is closely coordinated with NOAA/NMFS in regards to compliance with the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, Oil Pollution Act, and NRDA restoration planning

As the Prime Contractor, GEC is responsible for all NEPA documentation and management; environmental site assessments; natural resource and socioeconomic analyses; hydrologic and coastal modeling; and restoration planning. GEC has shared responsibilities with its subcontractors.