WASHINGTON (CN) – A federal judge dismissed an action to stop an Army Corps of Engineers flood control project in Puerto Rico because the Corps of Engineers doesn’t have the money to even start the job.
Finca Santa Elena, the Román-Más Foundation and Angel Román-Más sued to stop the Río de la Plata project, but U.S. District Judge Robert Wilkins dismissed for lack of standing.
“Defendants’ declarations … reflect that construction on the upstream project components may never go forward,” the judge wrote.
The Corps took on the project in the late 1980s to address flooding in residential areas in the Río de la Plata floodplain. The river is about 11 miles west of San Juan. The project includes 7.6 miles of levee construction, 7 miles of channel modifications and replacement of three bridges. Only the first phase has been funded and scheduled for construction.
“Defendants argue that the only portion of the project that has actually been ‘funded, finally designed and fully approved’ is Phase 1A. Defendants argue that any work upstream of Phase 1A is ‘a highly uncertain prospect’ and whether any of the upstream project components will ever receive funding is ‘a matter of speculation,'” the judge wrote.
In a separate federal complaint filed in February, the Román-Más Foundation claimed the project will harm endangered West Indian manatees.