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Letter From Corps Chief Counsel for Litigation to NRHP Chief

Letter From Corps Chief Counsel for Litigation to NRHP Chief

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Published by Sandy Rosenthal
Response by Corps of Engineers to the Keeper's request for comment on the nominated property, the breach site of the Industrial Canal
Response by Corps of Engineers to the Keeper's request for comment on the nominated property, the breach site of the Industrial Canal

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Categories:Types, Letters
Published by: Sandy Rosenthal on Jul 24, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/08/2012

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/
DEPARTMENTOFTHEARMY
u.s.
ARMYCORPSOFENGINEERS441GSTREETNWWASHINGTON,D.C.20314-1000
f
CECC-L8June2012Mr.
J.
PaulLoetherChief,NationalRegisterofHistoricPlacesandNationalLandmarksProgramsNationalParkService1849CStreet,N.W.Washington,DC20240SUBJECT:Levees.org'sNominationofNewOrleansLeveeBreachSites-17thStreetCanalandEastSide,NorthBreachoftheInnerHarboravigationCanal(lHNC)DearMr.Loether:ThisletterrespondstoyourrequestmadeintheMay25
tll
meetingandteleconferenceforspecificcommentastowhytheLevees.orgnominationisnotadequatelydocumentednortechnicallyandprofessionallycorrectandsufficient.Specifically,thenominationdocumentinaccuratelystatesthatthetwonominatedsitesmeetCriteriaConsiderationGforexceptionalsignificancebecauseofengineeringfailuresattributabletotheU.S.ArmyCorpsofEngineers(USACE)thatresultedincatastropheandchangesinnationalfloodcontrolpoliciesandpractices.ominationat9.Thebasisforthisexplanation,however,restssolelyontheopinionsofKatrinaplaintiffs'expertwitnesses,andonfactswhicharevigorouslydisputedinongoingfederallitigationinvolvingthetwonominatedsites.Thenominationfailstoacknowledgethelackofconsensusintheengineeringandscientificcommunitiesontheveryissuesuponwhichthenominationrelies.Thenominationdocumentalsomisrepresentsthetrialcourtdecisionsinvolvingthetwositesinanattempttodemonstratethatthereisaconsensusontherepresentationsmadeinthenomination.Thereis,infact,nosuchconsensus.Theexceptionalsignificanceofthesetwositescannot,therefore,beobjectivelyestablishedbasedonthenominationdocument.Explanationofthisfactissetforthbelow.
1.
Lackofcons~nsusintheengineeringandscientificcommtmitiesThenominationreliesontheexistenceofaunanimousconsensusthatUSACEengineeringfailuresresultedinthefloodwallbreachesatthetwonominatedsites:"Atthetimeofthisnominationallstudiesagreeonthefailuremechanismsoftheleveeandfloodwallbreaches.Theunanimousconsensusofthesestudiesisthatengineering
errors
createdthecatastrophe."Nominationat25.NothingcouldbefurtherfromthetruthasisevidentbyreferencetothevoluminousexpertopinionsubmittedbythepartiestotheKatrinalitigation.
A.
InreKatrinaCanalBreachesConsolidatedLitigation(Robinson),0.05-4182(E.D.La.)TheRobinsoncaseintheconsolidatedKatrinalitigationisthelead,testcaseforliabilityfromfloodingrelatedtotheMississippiRiverGulfOutlet(MRGO),theGulfIntracoastalWaterwayandthetwoeastsideIHNCbreachsites,includingtheone
that
isthesubjectofthis
 
/
CECCSBJECT:Levees.org'sNominationofNewOrleansLeveeBreachSites-17thStreetCanaJandEastSide,NorthBreachoftheInnerHarborNavigationCanal(lHNC)nomination.ALIoftheexpertreportswhichhavebeensubmittedattheRobinsontrialheldinAprilandMayof2009arehostedbyplaintiffs'liaisoncounselandcanbereviewedat\\\w.kalrinadocs.com/expcrt·.cfm.ThesereportsevidencethedisagreementwithintheengineeringandscientificcommunitiesastothecauseoftheleveeandfloodwallbreachesanddamagesresultingfromKatrina.ThesereportsarelistedinthefollowingchartbypartyexpertandareaofexpertisewiththereportsinboldofthePlaintiffs'expertsuponwhichtheassumptionsinthenominationarebasedandthereportsoftheUnitedStatesandWGIwhichreachcontraryconclusions:UNITEDSTATESPLAINTIFFS22Dec08JohannesWesterink(surge23June08deWit,Maaskant,KokandVrijlingmodeling)(flowmodeling)21Jan09Vrijling,Kok,deWitandGautier21Dec08DonaldResio(windandwave9July08Gautier,KokandVrijling(waveinteraction)modeling)24March09DonaldResio13Nov08Gautier,KokandVriiling17Dec08BruceEbersole(Surge
II
July08PaulKemp(MRGOeffectonsurge,modeling,hydrologyandleveesystemwavesandflooding)performance)14Jan09PaulKemp18Dec08StevenFitzgerald(Interior9July08Kok,Aalberts,Kanning,Maaskantdrainage)anddeWit(polderfloodsimulations)18Dec08ThomasWolff(geotechnical14July08RobertBea(breachmechanism)andengineeringdesign)
I
29Jan09RobertBea,IvorvanHeerden,18Dec08ReedMosher(geotechnical;
I
PaulKemp
I
projectevaluation
&
performance)3April09RobertBea15May09RobertBea22Dec08JohnBarras(wetlandhabitat11July08DuncanFitzgeraldandSheaPenlandmapping)(geologyandgeomorphology;habitat/wetlands
I
loss)
I
1March08TaylorDamageReports
I
I
28April08CrawfordDamageAssessments18Dec08StephenDel.oach(UDAR
&
I
13July08ChadMorris(mapping,levee
I
structureelevations)heights)22Dec08BrianJarvinen(meteorology
&
surgeresearch)18Dec08LouisBritschIII(geologicandIIJuly08JohnDayandGaryShaffer(MRGOgeomorphicdevelopment)
i
effectonwetlands;landloss)
I
27Jan09DayandShaffer
B.
InreKatrinaCanalBreachesConsolidatedLitigation(MRGO),No.05-4182(E.D.La.)TheMRGOcategoryoftheKatrinalitigationisaconsolidatedclassactiondealingwithissuesofliabilityfordamagesfromfloodingrelatedtotheMRGO.Mostoftheliabilityissuesweretriedinthelead,testcaseofRobinson.InSeptemberofthisyear,thefinalliabilityissueconcerningliabilityfromfloodingrelatedtothetwoIHNefloodwallbreaches,oneofwhichisthesubjectofthisnomination,willbetried.TheUnitedStatesappearsasacodefendantinthis2
 
J
CECCSUBJECT:Levees.erg'sNominationofNewOrleansLeveeBreachSites-17thStreetCanalandEastSide,NorthBreachoftheInnerHarborNavigationCanal(lHNC)trialwiththeGovernmentcontractorWashingtonGroupInternational(WGI).TheexpertreportssubmittedintheupcomingtrialevidencethedisagreementwithintheengineeringandscientificcommunitiesastothecauseofthefloodwallbreachesanddamagesresultingfromKatrina.Thesereportsarelistedinthefollowingchartbyparty,expertandareaofexpertisewiththe
reports
inboldofthePlaintiffs'expertsuponwhichtheassumptionsinthenominationarebasedandthereportsoftheUnitedStatesandWGIwhichreachcontraryconclusions:UNITEDSTATESovt.contractor1Feb12RobertBea,DiegoCobos-Roa,RuneStoresundandXavierVera(assessmentoffailure)11April12RobertBea,DiegoCobos-Roa,Rune
I
StoresundandXavierVera
I
I
RebuttalReport8March12ThomasBrandon(assessmentoffailure)12March12FranciscoSilva-Tulia(assessmentoffailure)PLAINTIFFS
I
8March12JosephB21March11RobertA5Jan12JDavidRogers
.
Dunbar(geologicalsiteDalrymple(hurricanereports(sitecharacterization)characterization)effects,stormsurgeandflooding)9March12PatrickC.Lucia9March12DavidSykora25July11ChadMorris(compliancewithstandardof(standardofcarereview)(surveyandspatialdata)care)
I
12March12W.AllenMarr11March12BradJamesand
I
(evaluationofleveefailure)icoliAmesIHNCorth
I
BreachPilingFailure
I
Analysis
I
I
9March12TimothyD.Stark31OctIIJamesR.Danner,ScottTaylor(lossreport).(effectsofexcavationsonJr(propertydamage
I
floodwallbreaches)aQPraisals)7March12ThomasNaymik
I
7Dec11HollySharp126July11JohnCrawford(hydraulicconductivityof(economiclossanalyses)(flooddamageassessment)subsurfacedepositsandcontinuity)
I
18March12StevenD.7Nov11lean-PrieurDuFitzgerald(interiorfloodingPlessis(residencerepaircostanalysis)estimate)14NovIIKarlG.Schneider
,
(residencecontentsreport)fNov11MichaelW.Truax,
I
Sf.(marketvalueappraisals)
I
C.
InreKatrinaCanalBreachesConsolidatedLitigation(Levee),o.05-4l82(KOLa.)TheLeveecategoryoftheKatrinalitigationisaconsolidatedclassactiondealingwithissuesofliabilityfordamagesfromfloodingrelatedtotheNewOrleansOutfallCanals,
3

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