The Louisiana Senate will be voting on Senate Bill 132 within the next couple of hours. This bill would change the Louisiana Scenic Rivers Act to allow unlimited dreding and clearing in some of our Scenic Rivers, including the Amite River, Pearl River, Tchefuncte River, Bogue Falaya River, Abita River, Comite River, and Bayou Manchac.
Dredging and clearing can increase flooding. As this bill is written, the state would not be allowed to evaluate and reject proposals that would damage property, public assets like bridges and roads, and the wildlife that depend on our Scenic Rivers. This is bad bill that seeks to solve a problem that doesn't exist. In fact, during the House hearing, no situation in which scenic streams permitting had been a problem could be cited.
Simple changes to the current bill could maintain the process to properly address permit applications with the information needed to make the assessment and decision.