To: Michael Clancy, Colonel, Mark Lahare, District Engineer US Army Corps of Engineers, Mitchell J. Landrieu, Mayor, James Austin Gray II, Councilmember, Stacy Head, Councilmember-at-Large, Jason Rogers Williams, Councilmember-at-Large, Jim...

Say NO! To The Inner Harbor Navigation Canal (IHNC) Lock Replacement Project!

I am a Citizen Against Widening the Industrial Canal (CAWIC) in New Orleans, LA. I Say NO! To The Inner Harbor Navigation Canal (IHNC) Lock Replacement Project.

1. U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS MUST RECOMMEND THE NO-ACTION ALTERNATIVE - This alternative is described in the January 2017 USACE Draft General Revaluation Report (GRR) as Plan 1.

2. DE-AUTHORIZE THE IHNC LOCK REPLACEMENT PROJECT - The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) must recommend to U.S. Congress that The Inner Harbor Navigation Canal (IHNC) Lock Replacement Project be de-authorized.

3. IF A LOCK IS NEEDED, MOVE IT OUTSIDE THE IHNC– If a new Canal and Lock are ever deemed economically justified and viable to construct, they must be constructed in another, less populated area. The Inner Harbor Navigational Canal (IHNC) already failed twice (during Hurricane Betsy and Hurricane Katrina), and has known toxins traveling through the Canal that expose dangerous hazardous materials to our residents.

Why is this important?

The proposed Inner Harbor Navigation Canal (IHNC) Lock Replacement Project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has immense negative impacts for the people of South Louisiana.
•       The proposed lock replacement project will cost tax payers millions and is not economically viable. 
Based on existing studies and data; the implementation of the USACE Tentatively Selected Plan 3 (Draft GRR) project no longer makes economic sense and is not justified through economic data and lock data provided by the USACE.   Data Provided indicates reductions in overall tonnage, amount of barges, and number of lockages between 2004-2015 with no proof of projected increase use into the future.
•       The Tentatively Selected Plan 3 construction will cause significant environmental, economic, and cultural damages to our region. 
The proposed construction of this project is estimated to last at least 13 years.  Residents, home owners, businesses, and property owners will be the ones impacted most during this period and will be exposed to environmental hazardous materials, vibrations and erosion impacts from pile driving. Construction will delay, if not prevent at times, safe access and transportation across the Industrial Canal without an adequate transportation study review.  This construction period will also halt the ongoing and future completion of significant real estate development projects on both sides of the IHNC.  “Large construction projects, such as the IHNC Lock replacement project, reduce the livability of nearby neighborhoods, reduce aesthetics and interrupt linear recreational opportunities.” (Page 6-30 January 2017 USACE Draft GRR)

•       The project has no economic benefits for the residents of this area.
USACE has publicly stated, in the Feb 23rd 2017 Public Meeting, that after the potential construction of Tentatively Selected Plan 3, the project will provide no short or long term economic benefit to the surrounding region's home owners, business owners, and residents.

•       A New Environmental Impact Study must be done.
The USACE must develop and complete a new and Separate Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) using up to date data and review processes.  Instead the USACE has stated it will provide only a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) to the Previous 2009 SEIS which is out of date.

•       The dredging of toxic chemicals will endanger the eco-system.
The USACE Tentatively Selected Plan 3 calls for excavation of approximately 719,000 cubic yards of total dredge material, with 105,000 cubic yards of material containing harmful materials, including dangerous metals, herbicides, pesticides, petroleum hydrocarbons, and other volatile materials.  The dredging of these materials in open water will endanger the surrounding ecosystem and the safety of New Orleans’ city water from the Mississippi River, and furthermore expose residents to unknown toxic levels for an undetermined amount of time.