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AFBF calls for completion of flood project

Letter dated Wednesday to Andrew Wheeler, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation:

Dear Administrator Wheeler,

I am writing you as President of the American Farm Bureau Federation on behalf of the 182,000 members we represent in the state of Mississippi.

In 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency formally issued a section 404(c) veto of the Yazoo Backwater Pump Project in the South Delta of Mississippi under the authority of the Clean Water Act. This project is one of the final components of the Mississippi River & Tributaries Project (MR&T) enacted by the Flood Control Act of 1941 that has yet to be completed. In essence, this pump station would provide flood relief for residents in the South Delta who are subject to backwater flooding from planned use of river control structures administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, under the MR&T plan.

Currently, this area is experiencing one of the longest and most severe backwater flood situations since 1927. Right now, an estimated 550,000 acres are completely flooded, including 225,000 acres of farmland. This continued flooding is causing major economic harm to the residents and businesses in these communities.

AFBF policy, adopted by delegates from across the country, states:

“We support completion of all Yazoo Basin flood control projects, including the Yazoo Valley Backwater Project, and the installation of pumping stations to relieve the backwater flooding problems.”

This matter is of urgent importance to the residents of Mississippi, and AFBF strongly supports completion of this project. I would like to request your immediate attention to this matter and formally to request reconsideration by EPA of the 404(c) veto exercised by your agency on this important pump project.

Reconsideration and reversal of this veto would positively affect countless lives, farms, and economic activity in the South Delta. Thank you in advance for your consideration of this critical request.

Sincerely,

Zippy Duvall

President