The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is overseeing the $900 million project to add another spillway to prevent future flooding.
Katie Huff is a project manager with the Corps. Huff says, in a sense, the drought has helped. They haven't had to do underwater work which would've meant using marine-based equipment that puts out higher emissions.
"A lot of the approach channel work was originally anticipated to be done, what we call in the wet, so yes underwater with excavators and barge operations in the lake itself," says Huff. "So now that we did do it in the dry this year then we are able to have a reduction in the overall air quality and water quality impacts that you would have had if you had to do the excavation in the wet."
However, bringing in more trucks and machinery to do the extra work has caused emissions to exceed federal thresholds. But Huff says finishing this stage of the project early will help reduce total emissions over the life of the project, which is set to be finished in 2017.
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