Lawsuit: US Army spillway opening hurts wildlife, localities

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FILE – In a Friday, May 10, 2019 file photo, workers open bays of the Bonnet Carre Spillway, to divert rising water from the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain, upriver from New Orleans, in Norco, La. The Army Corps of Engineers expects to begin closing the Bonnet Carré Spillway north of New Orleans sometime in the second or third week of July. The corps began opening the Bonnet Carré Spillway on May 10 to relieve stress on levees protecting New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

A lawsuit in Mississippi alleges the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Mississippi River Commission hurt wildlife and localities by opening the Bonnet Carré Spillway in Louisiana for prolonged periods of time without considering the consequences.

The federal lawsuit filed this week by several cities, counties and groups accuses the corps and commission of violating federal law by opening the spillway more frequently.

News outlets report the lawsuit seeks a temporary injunction that requires the corps to consult local governments about how to minimize the impacts of opening the spillway.

It also wants the defendants to study the impacts of frequent spillway openings and offer ways to mitigate damage.

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