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Panel to hear levee board's appeal of Yazoo Pumps ruling

MISSISSIPPI DELTA — A Mississippi levee board is asking a federal appeals court to revive a $220 million flood control project that the Environmental Protection Agency vetoed in 2008, claiming it would harm wetlands and wildlife.

A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans is scheduled to hear arguments in the case today.

The Board of Mississippi Levee Commissioners sued the EPA over its veto of the decades-old Yazoo Backwater Project. The board says the proposed pumping station would protect wetlands, farmland and forests north of Vicksburg from flooding when the Mississippi River is high.

EPA argues the board doesn’t have standing to pursue its claims.

U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock in Aberdeen sided with the EPA and dismissed the lawsuit in March 2011.

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