Gulf of Mexico
via Texas A&M Foundation

TX - Environmental Groups Ask for More Time to Consider Coastal Barrier

More than two dozen environmental groups have asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Texas General Land Office for more time to comment on a new plan for a storm-surge barrier on the Texas coast.

The groups say the project is too massive, too important and too potentially damaging to the environment to let pass in the agencies’ normal 45-day comment period.

“This spring is when the project study is going to come to an end and this is going to be submitted to Congress for potential approval and appropriations of funds,” said Jordan Macha, executive director of Bayou City Waterkeeper, an environmental advocacy group. “We want to have the most inclusive comments as possible and be able to really identify what we think are significant concerns with the project as a whole.”

The groups want more time to comment on the $28 billion proposal to build miles of dunes, sea gates and levees and other measures to protect the Galveston and Houston area from devastating storm surge flooding.

The extension is warranted, in part, because the agencies don’t plan to hold in-person public hearings during the coronavirus pandemic, Macha said. The groups worry the plans attempt to protect people and property around Galveston Bay might have dangerous consequences for natural resources inside the bay.

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