Emergency Dredging of and Debris Removal for Bayou Lafource
WHEREAS, the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, R.S. 29:721, et seq., confers upon the governor of the state of Louisiana emergency powers to deal with, respond to, or recover from emergencies and disasters, including those caused by fire, flood, earthquakes, or other natural or man-made causes;
WHEREAS, Proclamation No. 51 BJ 2008, issued on August 27, 2008, and subsequently extended by Proclamations No. 58 BJ 2008 and No. 66 BJ 2008, declared a state of emergency for the state of Louisiana due to Hurricane Gustav’s potential to cause severe storms, high winds, storm surges and torrential rain that could cause flooding and damage to private property and public property, and threaten the safety and security of the citizens of Louisiana;
WHEREAS, subsequently, Hurricane Gustav struck the state of Louisiana on September 1, 2008, causing widespread damage which continues to threaten the safety, health, and welfare of the citizens of the state of Louisiana, along with private property and public property;
WHEREAS, Bayou Lafourche serves as the primary water source for several drinking water systems that serve over 300,000 people in Terrebonne, Lafourche, Assumption, and Ascension Parishes;
WHEREAS, Hurricane Gustav inundated portions of Bayou Lafourche with a large volume of debris, fallen trees, and other vegetation which substantially blocked the flow of water to these drinking water systems, and the decomposition of which resulted in the contamination of the water and impairment of the water ’ s availability, treatability, color, odor and taste to the drinking water systems dependant thereupon;
WHEREAS, on September 7 and 8, 2008, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) received requests (Task Nos. 11557 and 14325) through the State Emergency Operations Center to provide assistance in removing obstructions and sedimentation in Bayou Lafourche that is preventing the existing pumping station from operating throughout its full design range to deliver fresh water from the Mississippi River to Bayou Lafourche, and prevented the Bayou Lafourche Freshwater District (BLFWD) from improving water quality, flow, and volume in Bayou Lafourche;
WHEREAS, it is necessary to remove the debris from Bayou Lafourche and to provide maintenance dredging, channel clearing and capacity improvements, and slope stability measures to portions of the Bayou, particularly that portion of the Bayou from the head of Bayou Lafourche at the discharge of the Walter S. Lemann Pump Station to River Mile 6.2 at the Louisiana Highway 998 Bridge, as soon as reasonably possible in an effort to alleviate, repair or eliminate the threat to the safety, health, and welfare of the citizens of the state of Louisiana posed by the past, present, and potential contamination of drinking water systems utilizing the Bayou as a source of drinking water in Terrebonne, Lafourche, Assumption, and Ascension Parishes;
WHEREAS, the BLFWD has an existing permit from the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Permit No. MVN-2001-1270-CX (Bayou Lafourche) 1128 and Permit Extension No. WH-20-010-1270-0, which is valid through April 30, 2011, and which provides for maintenance dredging and channel clearing and capacity improvements along a 29-mile segment of Bayou Lafourche from Donaldsonville to Thibodaux for the purpose of maintaining an adequate freshwater reservoir for public consumption. The BLFWD, however, has neither sufficient funding nor the technical expertise to exercise the permit in an expeditious manner;
WHERAS, in order to expedite a solution for improving the quality, flow, and volume of water in Bayou Lafourche, the CPRA has agreed to assist BLFWD with the funding, and technical, inspection, and engineering support necessary to survey and stake portions of Bayou Lafourche, to clear and grub the Bayou, to remove debris and vegetation, provide slope stability measures, and dredge and improve the channel capacity within certain portions of Bayou Lafourche; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to R.S. 29:724(D)(4), and subject to applicable requirements for compensation, the governor may utilize any private property if he finds this necessary to cope with a disaster or emergency;
NOW THEREFORE, I, BOBBY JINDAL, Governor of the state of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the state of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1 : The BLFWD, the CPRA, the National Guard (LNG), and any other appropriate local, state, or federal governmental entity and their contractors shall be authorized to access, enter, and utilize public and private lands adjoining and adjacent to Bayou Lafourche as may be necessary to survey and stake Bayou Lafourche, to clear and grub the Bayou, to remove vegetation and debris from the Bayou, to conduct maintenance dredging, channel clearing and capacity improvements, and provide slope stability measures therein, all in accordance with the Bayou Lafourche Freshwater District Permit with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Permit No. MVN-2001-1270-CX (Bayou Lafourche) 1128 and Permit Extension No. WH-20-010-1270-0, which is valid through April 30, 2011, and to demolish and remove any buildings, docks, bulkheads, or other structures as may be necessary to accomplish these surveying and staking, clearing and grubbing, debris removal, maintenance dredging, channel clearing and capacity improvements, and slope stability measures to be undertaken within Bayou Lafourche, as provided in but not limited to the authority of R.S. 38:225 and R.S. 41:1701, et. seq. and any other similar rule, regulation or law, all with the intent and purpose of providing fresh water in Bayou Lafourche and facilitating the flow thereof as soon as practicable.
SECTION 2: Any entry upon or work performed by government employees or their contractors upon private property shall be in accordance with Louisiana Attorney General Opinion Nos. 05-0360, 05-0360A, and 05-0373, and any compensation for property taken shall be in accordance with the requirements of the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.
SECTION 3: Any governmental entity seeking reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) for work performed as authorized by this Order shall comply with appropriate federal statutes and regulations.
SECTION 4: Any work performed pursuant to this Order shall be accompanied by documentation of the actual costs thereof borne by the governmental entity and shall be maintained for possible future reimbursement by FEMA.
SECTION 5: All departments, commissions, boards, offices, entities, agencies, and officers of the state of Louisiana, or any political subdivision thereof, are authorized and directed to cooperate with the BLFWD and the CPRA in implementing the provisions of this Order, including the execution of necessary cooperative endeavor agreements.
SECTION 6: This Order is effective upon signature and shall continue in effect until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the Governor, or terminated by operation of law.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the city of Baton Rouge, on this 21st day of November, 2008.
Secretary of State