Congratulations to Memphis District Biologist Mike Thron, who on yesterday, was presented with the Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, by Mississippi Valley Division Commanding General and Mississippi River Commission President Maj. Gen. Diana Holland, for his outstanding leadership as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) coordinator on the Mississippi River Mainline Levees (MRL) Final Supplement II (Final SEIS II). As stated in his medal citation:
“Mr. Thron’s professionalism and dedication ensured timely delivery of the SEIS II and completion of the NEPA process.”
NEPA is a United States environmental law that promotes the enhancement of the environment and established the President's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). The law was enacted on January 1, 1970.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) signed the Record of Decision for the Final SEIS II to the 1976 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T) Project, MRL, on March 11.
The Record of Decision details USACE’s decisions on conducting remedial measures necessary to control seepage and/or raise and stabilize deficient sections of the existing levees and floodwalls to protect the structural integrity and stability of the MRL system, as well as measures to avoid and minimize adverse impacts and compensate for unavoidable losses to significant environmental resources.
Through evaluation of information and data obtained from levee inspections, seepage analyses, research, studies and engineering assessments, the USACE Memphis, Vicksburg and New Orleans districts collectively identified a total of 143 additional Work Items along various reaches of the MRL feature of the MR&T project.
These 143 Work Items constitute the proposed action for the Final SEIS II and are located across portions of seven states: Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The Final SEIS II supplements and, as necessary, augments the 1976 FEIS and 1998 Supplemental EIS (SEIS I) to achieve USACE’s primary goals for the MR&T: (1) providing flood risk management from the Project Design Flood; and (2) being an environmentally sustainable project. The Record of Decision was signed by Maj. Gen. Diana Holland.
As the citation goes on to conclude, “Mr. Thron was the primary preparer of the SEIS II. Mr. Thron’s hard work, selfless service and phenomenal leadership reflect credit upon himself, the Mississippi Valley Division, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.