Admiral Allen approves one section of Louisiana’s barrier island project proposal

May 28th, 2010 - 1:41 am ICT by BNO News  

WASHINGTON D.C. (BNO NEWS) — The National Incident Commander for the BP oil spill, Admiral Thad Allen, on Thursday approved the implementation of one section of Louisiana’s barrier island project proposal that intends to help stop oil from coming ashore, the Deepwater Horizon Incident Joint Information Center announced.

Louisiana intends to rebuild the barrier islands as an artificial shield against the massive oil slick. The project plans to dredge and dump sand into 40 gaps in the chain of islands that stretch from St. Mary Parish to Mississippi. The project will protect the Louisiana coasts still not affected by the oil spill and it will also protect them from hurricanes and erosion.

The dredging project was proposed by two Dutch organizations and its one response to keep the oil out of Louisiana’s fragile estuaries and marshlands. The project will cost an estimate of $350 million.

Admiral Allen’s approval will save Louisiana the cost of construction for this section of the project by integrating it with the federal government’s ongoing oil spill response. The payment will be made by either BP or the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.

“We are relentlessly working to secure the spill at source and attack the oil being released using every safe and reasonable technique available,” said Allen. “Implementing this section of the proposal will allow us to assess this strategy’s effectiveness in protecting coastal communities and habitats of the Gulf region as quickly as possible. We will not be satisfied until the spill is stopped, the oil is removed, the communities are safe, and their way of life restored.”

The Army Corps of Engineers granted partial approval for the barrier island project proposal, thus covering approximately half of Louisiana’s original request and including six sections. With this permit, the state is authorized to construct the barrier islands at its own expense, so long as construction meets the terms and conditions established by the Army Corps of Engineers.

The original proposal presented by Louisiana Governor Jindal has been modified and adapted as the oil spill situation continues to unfold. Many factors have been considered, including the conservation of the fragile ecosystems in the area and the impact of a major construction project while a response operation of more than 20,000 personnel and 1,300 vessels is currently taking place.

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