Shifting Interests: Rethinking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Permitting Process and Public Interest Review in Light of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

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Fall 2006


This article looks at the role played by the United States Army Corps of Engineers-run Clean Water Act Section 404 permitting process and how, based on 1980's regulatory amendments, it has failed the people of the Gulf Coast. In particular, it asks the question whether a better focused "public interest" review that would require individual permits to be issued only when they actually are in the interest of the public would have limited some of the tragedy experienced by residents and the environment of the Gulf Coast during the 2005 hurricane season. The article includes a brief examination of the history and parameters of the Corps public interest review requirements. It concludes with suggestions for revamping the public interest review process.

Publication Title

Thurgood Marshall Law Review

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