Jackson County

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers posts key Lake George documents online for all to see

The Pascagoula River winds through George County before making its way to neighboring Jackson County. Plans are underway to dam tributaries to the river to create twin lakes, primarily in George County.
The Pascagoula River winds through George County before making its way to neighboring Jackson County. Plans are underway to dam tributaries to the river to create twin lakes, primarily in George County. SUN HERALD/2003

PASCAGOULA -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has posted two major documents supporting the Lake George twin-lakes project that proposes to dam a major tributary of the Pascagoula River.

The project originated in George County and opposition to damming the tributaries Big and Little Cedar Creek has grown among proponents of the river in Jackson County and along the Coast. The Pascagoula is the largest free-flowing river in the lower 48 states, by water volume, a designation that nature tourism along the Coast is hanging its hat on.

But in order to get enough detail on the project from studies and documents in the permit request to respond to the Corps' call for comment, people had to file a Freedom of Information Act form with the Corps and wait up to 20 business days.

The deadline to comment is Nov. 4.

On Wednesday the Sun Herald ran an editorial that urged the Corps to put vital information from the Lake George project online.

And Thursday, they did.

Andrew Whitehurst, water program director with the Gulf Restoration Network, received the good news via email from Keri Schenter, paralegal and FOIA specialist with the Corps.

"Dear Sirs/Madams:

This message concerns your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request(s) for copies of records pertaining to permit application SAM-2014-00653. Please be advised that the permit application and environmental assessment have been posted on our website at our FOIA Frequently Requested Records page."

And it lists the link, which is now posted on the Sun Herald website.

"If you scroll to the bottom of the page and then click the file number (SAM-2014-00653-MBM) the links to each document will appear for you to access," she writes. "Please be advised that individual formal responses to each of your requests will follow via US Mail."

Whitehurst said he sent links of the Sun Herald editorial to the Corps and to key players in the Lake George design.

Now two of the more important documents are available for everyone to "dig into," Whitehurst said. The information does not include key appendices, however, but it's certainly a start, he said.

"If people want to really see what's going on (with the Lake George project)," he said, "they can find out."

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