Social justice and environmental organizations call on US Army Corps of Engineers to hold open commenting for non-essential projects
WASHINGTON – Seventy-nine organizations submitted a letter today urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to extend comment periods and postpone public hearings while the country battles the coronavirus pandemic. The agency continues to conduct “business as usual,” forging ahead with new commenting periods for large-scale infrastructure projects across the country and refusing to extend deadlines for commenting on existing projects.
“There is no doubt that the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly deprived members of the public from having opportunities to meaningfully participate in – or even become aware of – open rulemakings and pending decisions,” the letter warns. “Communities are closing. The public is sheltering in place. People are losing their own lives and the lives of loved ones. Now is not the time to push through ‘business as usual’ agency activity.”
The groups are urging the Army Corps of Engineers to hold open all non-essential commenting periods until 60 days after the national emergency has been lifted, and to postpone all public hearings until it is safe for the public to gather.
Click here for the full text of the letter, along with a full listing of all the organizations that joined.