Description: Lawsuit alleging that consultation under the Endangered Species Act was required for the ongoing operations of the Bonnet Carré Spillway.
Defenders of Wildlife v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 04/15/2020 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Environmental Groups Said Endangered Species Act Consultation Was Required for Operation of Spillway. Defenders of Wildlife and Healthy Gulf filed a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of Mississippi claiming that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Mississippi River Commission were failing to comply with the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in connection with its operation of the Bonnet Carré Spillway, a flood-control mechanism on the lower Mississippi River. The plaintiffs alleged that the agencies had never completed formal or informal consultation under the ESA to consider the impact of diversions on nine threatened and endangered species that inhabit the bodies of water into which the spillway diverts water to reduce flooding in New Orleans. The complaint states: “As more extreme storms and varied weather increase the number and intensity of floods in the lower Mississippi River valley region, it is likely that the Spillway will be opened more frequently and for increasingly longer duration in the future. This in turn will increase the frequency and duration that imperiled species and habitats are subjected to Spillway water pollutants and other impacts.”