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Yazoo Backwater Pumps Project gets $11.2 million from Corps

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is allocating $11.2 million for pre-construction project planning and acquiring mitigation property for the Yazoo Backwater Pump Project, according to information from U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith’s office.

The money is part of an additional $63.6 million in fiscal 2021 money the Corps is moving to fund 17 projects in Mississippi. 

The $11.2 million is part of $29.14 million in Corps funds designated for projects authorized under the 1928 Mississippi River and Tributaries Act to control Mississippi River flooding. That total includes $3.13 million additional projects on the Big Sunflower River and $14.8 million for projects in the Upper Yazoo River Basin.

“I am very pleased with the Army Corps allocation of additional funding for projects in Mississippi that will benefit public health and safety, as well as our economy,” Hyde-Smith said. “I am particularly pleased the Army Corps is dedicating $9.2 million for pre-construction planning and other activities on the New Proposal for the Yazoo Area Pump Project, which will advance the project into the next important phase of implementation.”

The pumps were the final piece of the Yazoo Backwater Levee Project authorized by Congress in 1941 and were part of the Mississippi Rivers and Tributaries Project. The EPA, however, vetoed the pumps project in 2008.

The Corps in 2020 submitted a supplemental environmental impact statement proposing to install pumps in the Deer Creek area instead of at the Steele Bayou Control Structure that received the blessing of the EPA.

The EPA ruled in December the proposed project was not subject to its 2008 Final Determination, which vetoed a similar project.

The Corps of Engineers put its final approval on the Yazoo Backwater Pumps Project, publishing its Record of Decision on Jan. 15.

The Record of Decision detailed the Corps decisions on the issues discussed in the final supplement to the 1982 Yazoo Area Pump Project Final Environmental Impact Statement, which was published in the Federal Register in December 2020.

Maj. Gen. Diana Holland, commanding general for the Mississippi Valley Division, signed the Record of Decision.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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