WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, released the following statement today after the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a waiver of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) moratorium and prohibitions for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion, Mid-Breton Sound Sediment Diversion, and the Calcasieu Ship Channel Salinity Control Measures projects, as selected in the Louisiana Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast:
“This is a step towards restoring and protecting Louisiana’s coastline,” said Dr. Cassidy. “I appreciate the administration paving the way for these improvements.”
In February, Congress passed a law requiring the Commerce Department to issue this waiver within 120 days. The waiver was issued today by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Cassidy spearheaded a provision in the tax cut legislation President Trump signed into law in December that increases revenue sharing for Gulf states, including coastal restoration projects in Louisiana.
Cassidy has repeatedly warned that the federal government’s outdated and inefficient environmental review and permitting process is hamstringing the state’s efforts to restore and protect its coasts.