Interagency Working Group convenes in Mississippi to learn more on desperate South Delta flood control needs.

On Wednesday, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) and U.S. Representative Bennie Thompson (D-MS) invited Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory to Mississippi for a series of briefings on flood control needs in the Mississippi Delta with a delegation of federal officials. U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith also participated in the briefings.


During presentations on Wednesday to an Interagency Working Group, Senator Hyde-Smith stressed the need for the federal government to construct a pumping station to successfully deliver effective flood protection to the Yazoo Backwater Area of the South Delta.

White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chair Brenda Mallory headed the federal contingent meeting in Vicksburg. The meeting also included national and regional officials from EPA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and National Weather Service.

“As federal agencies and special interest groups continue to debate pumps vs. no pumps, it seems forgotten the United States Congress decided that a long time ago,” Hyde-Smith said.

Hyde-Smith added that the authorized Yazoo Backwater Area Project calls for an intricate system of flood control features—levees, floodgates, drainage channels, and pumping stations—to protect a nearly 1,500-square-mile area.

“That system cannot function without all of its parts. And clearly, it’s not,” the Mississippi Senator stated.

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, one of the world’s largest and most respected public engineering agencies, has studied the Yazoo Backwater Area Project for nearly four decades,” Hyde-smith continued. “The Corps has not been able to identify any other practicable way to manage such enormous volumes of water, other than a pumping station.”