Coastal berms project controversy continues
The Environmental Protection Agency said it wants changes to the state's coastal berms project.
Governor Bobby Jindal fought for the sand protection system after the Deepwater Horizon explosion. The berms are designed to catch oil from the spill before it reaches the coast.
EPA officials said future permits should be rejected until long term plans are implemented. Those plans involve transforming the berms into barrier island type protection, which could offer the state protection against storm surges when a hurricane hits the coast. Supporters of the berms said barrier islands are also part of their plans, and they back any attempt to offer better protection.
The berms project is currently underway. It will cost the state about $360 million to build 100 miles of the reinforced sand bars. State leaders said permits for future portions of the berm will be considered about a year from now.