Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Environmentalist Lawsuit Blocked Storm Gates to Protect New Orleans

John Fund in Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal Political Diary September 13, 2005
http://www.opinionjournal.com/politicaldiary Subscription Required

“How's This for 'Environmental Impact?'

In 1965, after Hurricane Betsy ravaged Louisiana, the Army Corps of Engineers won a Congressional go-ahead to build two massive storm gates designed to prevent hurricane winds from driving a swollen Lake Pontchartrain into the levees surrounding New Orleans. The Dutch built floodgates similar to those contemplated by the Corps after a 1953 storm flooded much of their country. "If we had built the barriers, New Orleans would not be flooded," Joseph Towers, the retired chief counsel for the Army Corps of Engineers' New Orleans district, told the Los Angeles Times. His opinion is seconded by former Louisiana Senator Bennett Johnson and several experts interviewed by the Times.

The project, which would have cost $500 million in today's dollars to complete, ground to a halt in 1977 … A lawsuit filed by environmentalists blocked the effort.”


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