Wicker Raises Importance of Flood Control Solution for the Yazoo Backwater Area in Hearing

Miss. Senator Presses Biden Environmental Official for Action

May 12, 2022

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a member of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, yesterday in a committee hearing highlighted the ongoing environmental and economic devastation resulting from severe floods in the Mississippi Delta and the need to work quickly to advance a flood control solution.

Wicker questioned Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality Brenda Mallory on her assessment of the flooding situation in the South Delta, asking her about her sense of on-the-ground conditions in the Yazoo Backwater Area. The Mississippi senator mentioned the severe economic conditions that could be alleviated by making progress on a flood control solution He further emphasized that the devastating flooding in the South Delta is primarily manmade and that many Delta residents have expressed intense interest in the completion of a project.

“The president has made environmental justice central to his environmental and climate agenda, and I understand you've been asked about that earlier,” Wicker said to Mallory. “But would you agree that the statistics that I have read to you argue strongly for looking at this proposed project in terms of environmental justice?”

Mallory agreed with Wicker’s assessment of the severity of the flooding in the South Delta, noting that it is indeed a manmade problem. Mallory added that she would like to visit Mississippi again and discuss the project with her colleagues and local stakeholders. She also committed to providing an update on the project’s scheduling by mid-July.

The Yazoo Backwater Pumps project is a longstanding priority for Senator Wicker. Wicker has publicly championed a proposal from the Army Corps of Engineers for flood control and relief for the region. This proposal was reversed in November 2021 by the Environmental Protection Agency, prompting a renewed call from Wicker to complete the project.

Watch the full committee exchange here. Read more about Wicker’s work on the Yazoo Pumps here.