(The Center Square) – Five conservation groups have sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers claiming the agency is wreaking havoc with the Mississippi River.
The National Wildlife Federation, American Rivers, Prairie Rivers Network, Missouri Coalition for the Environment and Great Rivers Habitat Alliance filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.
The lawsuit challenges the Corps’ environmental impact statement for the Regulating Works Project, which guides the agency’s management of a southern Illinois section of the Mississippi River.
The Army Corps of Engineers has constructed hundreds of miles of “river training structures” that alter the river’s flow. The lawsuit contends the structures, which include wing dikes, bendway weirs and chevrons, have increased flood height by up to 15 feet in some locations and 6 to 8 feet in broad sections of the middle Mississippi River.
Olivia Dorothy, a director with American Rivers, said the plans were not thought through.
“We are demanding the Corps of Engineers develop an adequate Environmental Impact Statement and do mitigation for their operations and maintenance on the river,” she said.
The conservation groups claim the agency failed to properly evaluate the risk of increased flooding from the additional river training structures and it did not adequately consider the effects of altering the river on fish, birds and other wildlife.
The Army Corps of Engineers declined to comment citing pending litigation.
The article was published at Environmental groups sue U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over river plans.