[StBernard] Vitter Release: Urges Obama to Expedite Barrier Island Plan

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Sun May 23 11:34:48 EDT 2010

Vitter Urges Obama to Expedite Barrier Island Plan
(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Sen. David Vitter today sent the following letter
to President Obama imploring him to expedite the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers’ approval of an emergency barrier island dredging plan:

May 21, 2010

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:
On May 2, when you personally visited Louisiana and the site of our
ongoing oil disaster, you promised that the federal government would be
fully responsive and would do whatever it takes to protect our coast and
marshes.  I'm truly saddened to say that that commitment is being broken.
Two weeks ago, local and state leaders, led by Plaquemines Parish
President Billy Nungesser, presented an emergency dredging plan to build up
and close gaps in our barrier islands to help block the oil from reaching
our marshes.  Though an immediate decision was promised by federal
officials, that process has slowed to the Corps of Engineers' and other
federal agencies' normal glacier pace.  Over a week later – still no
Very early on in the process, I spoke personally to Admiral Thad
Allen, General Robert Van Antwerp, and others to underscore that an
emergency, crisis timeline was necessary.  But the process dragged on.  Last
Friday, I was told that permits would be issued in three days, but now seven
have passed.  Yesterday I spoke to Assistant Secretary of the Army Jo Ellen
Darcy, your appointee to head the Corps, who said that an environmental
review was ongoing and that she could not commit to any timeline whatsoever.
I find it unsettling that an environmental review is holding up this
process when thick oil is now seeping past our barrier islands into our
delicate marsh.  And the plan to prevent that horrible destruction is simply
to restore some elements of the barrier islands as they were in the past. 
We are waiting for an environmental review when we have an ongoing
environmental disaster occurring before our very eyes. 
Please stop this tragic bureaucratic stranglehold, Mr. President. 
Please make this happen now.
Thank you for your leadership.


David Vitter   
            U.S. Senator


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