Three oilfield navigation projects in South Louisiana are among those that won final approval this week after a lengthy debate over Congress’ COVID-relief and government spending bill, HoumaToday.com reports.
The measure authorizes nearly $350 million worth of work that would deepen the Baptiste Collette in Plaquemines Parish, the Houma Navigation Canal in Terrebonne Parish and Belle Pass in south Lafourche Parish. Congress must pass a separate measure appropriating funding to pay for the work.
They are among Louisiana projects included in the Water Resources Development Act, which Congress included in the stimulus package and spending bill before sending it to President Donald Trump.
According to a news release from Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise outlining the package, the measure authorizes the following:
• Baptiste Collette Deepening Authorization – Authorizes the deepening of Baptiste Collette from current depths of 14 feet in the inner reach and 16 feet in the outer reach to depths of 22 and 24 feet respectively.
• Port Fourchon Belle Pass Deepening Authorization – Authorizes the deepening Of Belle Pass to provide access to the port’s planned deep-water facility for rig repair and refurbishment.
• Houma Navigation Canal Deepening Authorization – Authorizes the deepening of the Houma Navigation Canal from 15 feet to 20 feet.
The act also includes authorization of a feasibility study for flood risk management in Tangipahoa Parish and a clause allowing the state to renegotiate the terms of the deferred payment agreement for the hurricane protection system around New Orleans.
When the projects might be funded remains unknown. A report by the corps last year says a backlog of $98 billion in projects Congress has authorized in WRDA bills still awaits money.