The U.S. EPA has moved to block an Army Corps of Engineers flood-control project in the Mississippi Delta, the first time the agency has aimed to veto a Corps project since 1990. The $220 million project would have built the world’s largest hydraulic pump, sucking dry enough wetland area to cover New York City in order to protect a sparsely populated area of soybean fields from Yazoo River flooding. The so-called Yazoo Pump (which would almost solely benefit subsidy-laden soybean farmers) was once described as an “economic [dud] with huge environmental consequences” — by a top Corps lobbyist. Informing the Corps of its disapproval, the EPA wrote that the plan “could result in unacceptable adverse effects on the aquatic ecosystem, particularly to fish and wildlife resources.” Says a delighted Rebecca Wodder of green group American Rivers, “One of the most environmentally disastrous ideas of the last half century is now one step closer to being thrown into the trash where it belongs.”

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