NWRA: Jindal ignored berm restrictions

June 25, 2010 at 11:31 AM
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WASHINGTON, June 25 (UPI) -- Washington acted correctly to halt dredging off the Louisiana coast meant to provide material for oil containment berms, wildlife advocates said.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers halted dredging operations in Louisiana near the Breton National Wildlife Refuge.

Louisiana's Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal lobbied for permission to build containment berms to prevent oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster from reaching delicate marshlands in the U.S. south.

The Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Interior Department fast-tracked the permit process to dredge for the berms 3 miles off the coast. Jindal, the National Wildlife Refuge Association said in a statement, allowed operations to move too close to protected areas, forcing the federal government to halt the operations.

Evan Hirsche, president of the NWRA, accused Jindal of blatant disregard for the terms of the federal dredging permits by conductive "massive" dredging operation near sensitive lands.

"The federal government did the right thing in calling a halt to this illegal activity," he said.

The Breton National Wildlife Refuge, located on the Chandeleur Islands, is a nesting ground for thousands of birds, including the brown pelican.

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