Edwards seeks cheaper environmental review for flood repairs
BATON ROUGE - Gov. John Bel Edwards is seeking a waiver of federal regulations that would require environmental reviews of any flood-damaged, single-family home that is repaired with federal disaster block grant aid.
The governor's office Friday released a letter sent to U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro requesting the waiver in using the aid earmarked by Congress after August floods ravaged south Louisiana.
Edwards said the environmental reviews cost about $3,500 per inspection - carrying a potential price tag of more than $100 million based on estimates of how many Louisiana homeowners the disaster aid may help.
Edwards said the expense "essentially provides no return on investment." He asked that HUD's Office of Environment and Energy work with Louisiana to devise a cheaper environmental review process for single-family home rebuilding.