The Descendants Project meets the US Army Corps of Engineers – The Observer


The Descendants Project meets the US Army Corps of Engineers

Posted at 12:14 p.m. on Friday, September 2, 2022

EDGARD – The Descendants Project and other advisory parties met with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sept. 1 to discuss the conduct of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA) Section 106 review in the case of Denver-based Greenfield’s proposal to build a grain terminal in Wallace.

As part of the meeting, The Descendants Project, the Corps of Engineers, representatives from Greenfield, representatives from local historic sites and historic preservation agencies came together to discuss their concerns and ask questions about the potential impact at historic sites such as the Whitney Plantation Museum and Evergreen. Planting.

The Section 106 meeting is the first time The Descendants Project and affected parties have been invited to discuss the potential impact on historic properties, but it’s particularly important given Wallace’s rich history beyond the plantations.

Although the Section 106 process focuses on historic buildings, a recent letter from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) — an agency that advises the President and Congress — highlighted the historic value of communities of black descendants. . According to the letter, “Regardless of the eligibility of individual structures that may contribute to such a district, the community of Wallace, as the place of origin of this descendant community, may be individually eligible for listing on the national registry and could be seen as a contributory element to a larger historic district or landscape.

The letter also indicates that impacts on the health of a local population may well be a consideration for the Corps of Engineers if descendant members of the Wallace community feel compelled to relocate in response to health and quality of life issues. life.

“It was helpful to be able to request information from an objective party like the Corps of Engineers, so they in turn could objectively ask the same questions we asked Greenfield,” said co-founder Dr. Joy Banner. from The Descendants Project.

The reunion followed months of The Descendants Project and other partner organizations bringing in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and marked the first time in two years that The Descendants Project was able to sit down with officials and ask questions about the impact of the grain terminal on the Wallace community, the land and the surrounding parish. The initial meeting request came a day after The Descendants Project asked the United Nations to halt construction of the proposed grain elevator.

The Section 106 review is intended to ensure that federally funded projects do not affect historic properties. The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF), Evergreen Plantation, Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation (LTHP), Louisiana Landmarks Society, National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP), Whitney Plantation and other stakeholder groups have been invited to the 106 review process.

In recent weeks, the United Nations’ international human rights body has asked the US federal government to provide details on how it plans to address concerns about environmental pollution along the Mississippi River in Louisiana.

The Descendants Project will continue to meet with the Corps of Engineers over the coming months as part of the Section 106 review process.

The Descendants Project will be hosting a Facebook Live on the Descendants Project Facebook page on Friday, September 2 at 1 p.m. CST to further discuss their meeting with representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers and Greenfield.


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