Hi, I’m Not in Delaware
In the latest blow to its image, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has suspended a planned $311 million deepening of the Delaware River after learning that the General Accounting Office was preparing to question the project’s economic justification. Sources said GAO investigators believed the Corps had overstated the potential economic benefits of the project to the ports of Philadelphia and Camden. For similar reasons, the agency has been forced to suspend studies of lock expansions on the Mississippi River and a deepening of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal; in addition, the White House Office of Management and Budget has challenged the economics behind a flood-control project in Dallas, and an internal Pentagon investigation has questioned the overall credibility of Corps economic analyses. The Corps has been studying the Delaware River deepening since the 1980s and has already spent more than $40 million on the project. Environmentalists and politicians, who had expressed concern about the 33 million cubic yards of dredge spoil and other ecological harm that could stem from the project, were happy to learn of the suspension.