Nov 22, 2013|
The St. Bernard Parish Council passed the ordinance banning construction of river diversions. They did this to get lawmakers to hear the concerns of their community. Should river diversions be used to rebuild Louisiana's sinking coastal wetlands? Don was joined by George Cavignac, St. Bernard City Council Member
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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
On the -- with you on the third and final all of the Friday edition of the think tank welcome aboard telephone lines of the open for yet 2601870866889087. He is still -- And if you prefer to send in a text message that comes directly in the studio we welcome that and a 7870. We also welcome your emails but unfortunately I will not be able get to -- Until after the program you can send me emails comments questions suggestions and Don at WWL. -- -- -- this third and final hour Laura we're going to discuss -- something -- topic we've been covering now for some time that of the -- coastal. Protection and restoration authorities master plan which by now everyone knows calls for some massive freshwater diversion. Projects along the Mississippi River to bring sediment into the coastal areas. I'm an effort to rebuild those errors in restore them. There has been some opposition to the scale of those diversions. Primarily from a couple of our parishes where that to be located Saint Bernard and plaque commenced. Earlier this week the saint Bernard parish council passed an ordinance which would -- construction of new river diversions. And basically prevent the expansion of those that are existing. What impact will this have to the coastal master. Plan we're going to be talking later with Jerome the rang from the at the CP RA which is the coastal protection and restoration authority they are managing and overseeing the implementation of the master plan to restore the coast of Louisiana but before we do that and introduced George cabinet. Georges saint Bernard parish council member George thanks Hispanics and Tom -- we appreciate. I'll appreciate it -- get an opportunity to talk about this important issue. Yeah it is very important is probably the most important issue people who live in sync and in the south Louisiana because without the place to live what would good as anything else. On this ordinance that you've passed earlier this week tell me exactly what does its. -- staying well law first let me proper everything -- -- by saying no one Saint Bernard. Failed to recognize the need to -- some coastal road and that's ongoing and we definitely recognize the danger we face separate date because let it. And we definitely don't want it to go on -- -- it's. I'll put that being that the disagreement. Comes in at. So reintroduce. Segment to the region that won't. Totally and utterly devastate. -- Paris economies of all the sister -- and -- And what -- ordered to -- it is not flood plain management ordinance required opera actress Kate and the National Flood Insurance Program. And 388438. People on which that spot statutes from Louisiana. Our mandate that we pat that 88 and follow it. However. You know the new state law creating the CP RA in the master plan gives them the Toledo -- local ordinances but. They definitely blocked an outlet for legislative debate in hopefully change -- So. Getting back to what does this actually state the ordinance doesn't -- construction of all future diversions. Visit to prevent the expansion of the ones that exist in the ten. Yes so the language I included. In the amendment to a flood plain management audience. Refused to comment any new -- structures. And it the -- diversionary structures anything metal. Are actually divert water and the war sentiment on carriers with -- -- -- powers is your state. Also have to clear this up what you're selling me is. This you don't expect to supersede all override the plans that aren't the master plan. Under calls to protection restoration authority but what this does is does officially on the record stated objection to those. Plans and to actually get legislation to -- get involved and maybe take some action. Oh well absolutely. You know the state legislature and very -- -- -- at Wendy when they created the framework for them at the plant locked them out that they recognize that the data. The -- opponent should be fluid document as signed the ball as stakeholders get more and more involved. ND. Every year there's an annual planet have to be market committee as well as legislature that they need to act -- And we're open to make impact in -- I thought it was a five year re evaluation program is an annual each year. Well yes or maybe you'd have to -- it help -- be adopted every five years but we're in the framework an annual plan. I'll lock in that that your priorities that funding as well resolved. Outlining what plant will go forward and done conduct it would be able. I'm as the author of of this ordinance on -- June. Looked into some independent research that the parish had done. In order to officially oppose the State's recommendation under the master plan or is this basically reflecting the opinions of your constituents. -- blow it -- it is both are now. You know thankfully we we have. The table -- coalition has done some really artwork in the last six countries and public awareness well satellite later. And and we've rolled out scientist after scientist that. Speaks to the detriment of all what the -- scale diversions could do and you know that's not only -- -- about it. The CPR it insults at the look at -- on ma. -- With -- ought to environmental impact statement in fact one of the biggest concern. No it was. The effect that it could make them -- for the -- program. Ready opinion poll question this hour is should Rivet diversions as proposed in the master plan -- used to rebuild Louisiana's sinking coastal wetlands. Right now overwhelming majority 89%. Saying yes they are in favor of that. 11% saying no. George -- cabinet -- Saint Bernard council member who authored an ordinance which was passed earlier this week. That would ban the construction of those river diversions or to expand them to such an extent which would meet the requirements of the master plan is -- this in Georgia looks like that. People who are responding to this or disagreeing with you that they are for those. A massive river diversions and included in the master planned my question to you is. Has Euro local elected officials who represents Saint Bernard in Baton Rouge looked at this ordinance in responded to you as far as their reaction. I mean that's actually thought they represented -- -- on the natural resource committee which is when the committee's. It's -- great and CPR -- after the present the annual plan to look at the legislative session began -- in March. And -- You know he looked at our award Nancy recognizes that there is a legislative. Part of the state law that allows us to move forward in generated panorama debate when an annual plane comes out so we just plan on pursuing that as at the -- moment. And who isn't legislature. Where. Reagan fellow soul line of people constituents or anyone -- it considers the issue again should contact him if they wanna have their opinion expressed. Let me bring in a Michael Lane Mike is with the save Louisiana coalition hi Mike how you doing this afternoon. Are you doing it and certainly appreciate saint Ellis stepped and step up their constituents. Well thank you Mike we we certainly appreciate the support and the and the work you've got to done an incredible well. Mike Magnus. If you would tell us about say Louisiana coalition it was a Madoff files in and basically what was the purpose of forming the organization. Well George Rick and I are the organization and we have great support. And to be totally honest with you re not -- was to check Louisiana. And I mean entire day -- you know the that is not just about it should not just about it's Bob it's so bad that. Our ticket that will destroy a major port Louisiana we're trying to put that. Well let me ask both of you this question is the representatives of the coastal protection and restoration authority come back in. And they say acting on the best science we have been that we decided this is the most efficient way to do with the money that we've got. If you guys who don't want -- and you are successful in getting your legislators to modify the master planned. We're gonna have to scrap it what would you say the net. Well I would say that's a good thing because if they follow through this plan is gonna destroy every bit -- Finishing in. So easily you know fish oysters -- -- Sportsman's paradise will be a thing of the past. And we do have an alternative which -- battle that's what you read in which is -- proven so it's it's it's it's been used you. For many areas and also the way they -- especially all the law aren't that the 22 point three -- Bared their. They'll work it's not sustainable -- -- not really true. I always gonna have Jerome harangue on a little bit later on and now present that to him about the -- because they say that they do includes some dredging bit. Two takeaways the massive freshwater diversion process. As part of the plan and put an accelerated dredging was simply not be cost effective and not efficient and I'm not gonna speak to him. I'll let him express that opinion George getting back to -- is there a plan that is along with this ordinance. That you would give to listening now -- to present. That would be an alternative to those massive diversions that would continue to provide that the public resources that we're gonna have been joined now. Brighter and I -- that we believe are right on. And mentally and Saint Bernard even included our presentation. Early on in the master plan process -- all back in those seven. You know where we advocated. That -- resources. Dredging as well protecting it's from the outside and you know and I'd like that -- on moment could dominate you know through the turn -- that aren't available which supports mr. graves in the feed your -- how. All orbit Leo unfortunately won't would end up happening without. The -- best science available that the current what you want. The state legislature right -- they used it because aren't continually -- As well as what happened the government a lot of time as the combat aren't available becomes about. Trying to prevent it. And you know we have a plethora of scientists that. That talk to the detriment of these large scale diversions include new -- equity stake in March is more susceptible so religion. So it's become a problem and and we want to give that information. In -- in front legislature is favored US thankfully. Well I'll ask you the same question I asked Mike if in fact the coastal protection and restoration authority digs in heels in and they say no win. The legislative Taurus agree with you but that comes down to whether master plan has to be scrapped because of the opposition would you be in favor of. Well I don't think -- have to plan itself have to scrub down the date bit quiet itself recognizes. That it is needed what's called off. You know. -- with management trying to work and they expressly. Stated that the annual plan would be to be able to implement that. And and that. The management framework that that got any adjustment to the planning. You know any policy and implementation of prod -- the -- the plan itself recognizes. That it needs to be blew it. And our biggest concern as we have limited resources. Are they attacked the CPR eight is probably -- that he received the forty point seven million dollars for forging ahead. With engineering group on the myrtle grove divergent. And we're concerned about it is that people being back -- despite the fact that evidence of the contrary may be available. So would your biggest fear of -- that in the time it would take for that five year evaluation to be completed. The irreparable damage may be done. Oh absolutely and been on the reminiscent of the mr. -- fight. Where people who live. The light of that being in and note that actuary. Have screamed and screamed even during the framework advisory council portion of preparing them current master plan. And and -- bit ignored match I don't think you mr. graves at this point we disagree with that that we were right there. And so we definitely need to have a -- heard. And and you bought the vehicle that the legislature themselves lasting impact could keep the master plan of lift living document. George thank you for explaining that we appreciated and also thanks to my -- say Louisiana coalition thank. All right coming back after the news we're going to be joined by Jerome Zeng. -- -- rang in -- before you do that let me get to some of these texts that are coming -- will also open up the phone lines if you'd like to call us. At 260187. ER 866889087. Remember that texting rules not text responsibly do not drive and text it is illegal it's 87870. But please have a designated driver refute texting. And if you driving have a designated text. I'm here are some of the text messages that are coming in remember when you tune -- -- this program if you hear me. Reading a text in in mid sentence and you think that that's my comment in May or may not beat. These are strictly the comments of people who are listening to this program. In texting messages him. Here's one that says shame on them that diversions war. -- Boeing says fiddling while Rome burns. Expletive deleted. Another says the science proves the benefits of the diversions and there are videos showing new marsh being built. These guys are murdering our future. And another one says they don't give a damn about the march they just don't want their fishing ruined. Short sighted selflessness. To the Max I and how do you feel about it a lot of people do have the the feeling that. If it's going to be massive freshwater diversion is gonna compromise our fisheries. I just as soon forget it analysts state the last vision is gone and that's a legitimate argument if they don't wanna see this and brave new world because. I don't think a lot of people understand that no matter what we do to restore this -- it is not gonna restore it. To exactly what it was saying in the -- days of the 1960s. Or even eighties is going to be a whole total new world. -- we come back guy after a news break we're gonna be joined by Jerome the rank. He is the executive director of the coastal protection and restoration authority. Did his reaction to saint Bernard parish councils passing of this ordinance. Which would ban construction of new massive river diversions or expand the ones that are there to accommodate the master plan criteria.