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    MILLER (VOL IV), GREGORY10/15/2008

    Johns Pendleton Court Reporters 800 562-1285

    Page 344







    (No. 06-2268)

    (V O L U M E IV)

    Rule 30(b)(6) deposition of THE UNITED



    GREGORY MILLER, given at the U.S. Army Corps of

    Engineers New Orleans District offices, 7400

    Leake Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana

    70118-3651, on October 15th, 2008.




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    855 Baronne Street6 New Orleans, Louisiana 701137 504-525-13358 - AND -9 ELWOOD C. STEVENS, JR., APLC

    10 (BY: ELWOOD C. STEVENS, JR., ESQUIRE)11 1205 Victor II Boulevard12 Morgan City, Louisiana 7038013 - AND -14 MCKERNAN LAW FIRM15 (BY: ASHLEY E. PHILEN, ESQUIRE)16 8710 Jefferson Highway17 Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70809

    18 225-926-123419 - AND -20 SHER, GARNER, CAHILL, RICHTER, KLEIN &21 HILBERT, L.L.C.22 (BY: MATTHEW CLARK, ESQUIRE)23 909 Poydras Street, 28th Floor24 New Orleans, Louisiana 7011225 504-299-2100

    Page 346

    1 - AND -



    4 325 E. 57th Street5 New York, N.Y. 10022

    6 212-286-8503







    13 P.O. Box 888

    14 Benjamin Franklin Station

    15 Washington, D.C. 20044

    16 202-616-4289




    21 7400 Leake Avenue

    22 New Orleans, Louisiana 70118-3651

    23 504-862-2843



    Page 347














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    45 MR. BRUNO ...............................3506 E X H I B I T I N D E X7

    8 EXHIBIT NO. PAGE9 Exhibit 52 ...............................373

    10 Exhibit 53 ...............................3891112








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    1 S T I P U L A T I O N2 IT IS STIPULATED AND AGREED by and3 among counsel for the parties hereto that the4 deposition of the aforementioned witness may be

    5 taken for all purposes permitted within the6 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, in accordance7 with law, pursuant to notice;8 That all formalities, save reading9 and signing of the original transcript by the

    10 deponent, are hereby specifically waived;11 That all objections, save those as to12 the form of the question and the responsiveness13 of the answer, are reserved until such time as14 this deposition, or any part thereof, is used15 or sought to be used in evidence.16


    18 * * *192021

    22 JOSEPH A. FAIRBANKS, JR., CCR, RPR,23 Certified Court Reporter in and for the State24 of Louisiana, officiated in administering the25 oath to the witness.

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    1 GREGORY MILLER2 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans3 District offices, 7400 Leake Avenue, New

    4 Orleans, Louisiana 70118-3651, a witness named5 in the above stipulation, having been first6 duly sworn, was examined and testified on his7 oath as follows:8 EXAMINATION BY MR. BRUNO:9 Q. Okay. When we left yesterday the

    10 question that was open on the table was whether11 or not a local sponsor is required in order for12 the Corps to do the reevaluation study.13 A. In the case of the gulf outlet14 channel, no. They may be required at the end15 or in the result of that reevaluation, should16 it recommend some new aspect of the project, to

    17 provide lands, but in this case the project was18 100 percent federal funded for construction and19 maintenance.20 Q. Now, if the project was 100 percent21 federal funded for construction and22 maintenance, that means that the local sponsor23 really wasn't required to put up any money for24 construction, right?25 A. Well, they're required to provide

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    1 lands and easements.2 Q. Okay.3 A. On order to enable construction to go,4 so.

    5 Q. Right. And the reason I'm asking the6 question is because how does that then figure7 into the calculation of cost sharing if the8 government is required to put up 100 percent of9 the money and the local sponsor is only

    10 required to put up land, in the case of the11 future study that you just alluded to, how do12 you determine the cost sharing between the13 government and the local sponsor?14 A. Well, cost sharing is prescribed by15 project type. There are various cost sharing16 ratios described in law, and it depends on the17 type of project. In this particular case this

    18 is a navigation project that was authorized as19 a federal navigation job, so the construction20 and maintenance is 100 percent federal cost as21 long as the local sponsor provides the lands22 and easements necessary for the construction23 and operation and maintenance of the project.24 There are other project types that have25 differing cost sharing ratios.

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    1 Q. I understand.2 A. Some are ecosystem restoration,3 65 percent federal/35 percent local. There are

    4 others that are 75 percent/25 percent. It just5 depends on the project type.6 Q. Well, in the case of this case right7 here, in the case of the reevaluation study8 itself, I think you just testified that there9 may be some further study required after the

    10 reevaluation.11 A. No, that's not what I said. If there12 was a recommendation for some other action,13 there could, for example, if the --14 hypothetically, if a reevaluation recommended15 expansion of a -- deepening of a project, there16 may be a local, um -- cost associated with

    17 that. If they recommended some other feature18 that wasn't in the original authorization,19 there may be a local cost share required for20 that recommendation to be implemented.21 Q. All right. Well, in the case of --22 let me see if I can put this in perspective. I23 think we learned that in the case of the24 reconnaisance study, the reason why it didn't25 go to the feasibility phase was because they

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    1 couldn't find a local sponsor to cost share.2 Is that accurate?3 A. They could not find a local sponsor to4 cost share the feasibility part, that's

    5 correct.6 Q. Right. Now, and the statutes you were7 going to relook at said that the cost sharing8 would be the same cost sharing that was9 utilized in connection with the original

    10 construction of the project. That's the11 formula you're tied to.12 A. Well, we're mixing different, um --13 different studies. You're mixing a14 reevaluation and a reconnaisance study.15 They're not the same.16 Q. Okay.17 A. A reevaluation is something that we

    18 spoke briefly about yesterday starting roughly19 in the 1999 time period. The reconnaisance20 study is something that began back in the early21 1980s. It identified a federal interest, it22 identified the potential solution and it23 identified roughly a positive cost benefit24 ratio and then it made recommendations on how25 to proceed to the feasibility stage. The

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    1 initial study said proceed with modifications2 to the general design memorandum, the3 subsequent draft in 1994, I believe it is, said

    4 to do a feasibility study. Feasibility studies5 require a cost share sponsor. There was no6 cost share sponsor that stepped forward and,7 therefore, the study did not proceed to a8 feasibility phase.9 Q. Right. I thought, though, that the

    10 feasibility study cost share requirement was11 that the cost sharing be the same cost sharing12 that was used in connection with the13 origination of the project.14 A. No.15 Q. It's not?16 A. No.

    17 Q. Okay. So even though in the case of18 the MRGO the local sponsor, the port, was not19 required to put up any cash to build it, in20 order to proceed to a feasibility study the21 local sponsor, the port, is required to put up22 money to study whether or not foreshore23 protection would be appropriate based upon24 whatever standards or we've talked about over25 these many hours.

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    1 A. That's right. They would be required2 to the cost share the feasibility phase of it.3 Q. All right. Is there something -- some4 method by which there can be an expedited

    5 feasibility study process?6 A. Well, the feasibility study would have7 to follow the planning guidance regulations8 that we have. The engineering regulation9 1105-2-100 which outlines the procedures for

    10 conducting the feasibility study --11 Q. Right.12 A. -- that regulation contains, um -- you13 know, the various review times that are14 required to get a study completed. But, um --15 I'm not aware of any specific authorization for16 expediting, other than we would try to do17 things as quickly as we can.

    18 Q. All right. Okay. Do you know whether19 or not the Corps consulted with the local20 sponsor of the project, which in this case21 we've established is the Port of New Orleans,22 regarding its desire or intent to pursue the23 reevaluation study?24 MR. SMITH:25 Objection. Asked and answered.

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    1 A. Yes. There were consultations between2 the Port of New Orleans and the Corps, um --3 for the reevaluation study.

    4 EXAMINATION BY MR. BRUNO:5 Q. Okay. Now, who initiated the study?6 A. Well, the study is initiated by the7 Corps of Engineers.8 Q. Okay. And what was the reason that9 the Corps -- why did the Corps initiate the

    10 study?11 A. Well, there are probably a number of12 factors. One is that the port had expressed13 interest of moving some of its facilities from14 the Industrial Canal area to the Mississippi15 River. So there was a projection of maybe a16 change in the need for the channel. There were

    17 also changes in the vessel utilization of the18 channel. So there was an evaluation of the19 continuing -- at the request of the Congress, a20 reevaluation of the continuing justification21 for the navigation benefits of the channel.22 Q. All right. So there was some23 Congressional request here? Because I'm24 looking at this document here, um -- NPM 38-63625 through 648. (Tendering.) Have you seen that?

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    1 A. Yes.2 Q. Okay. I think we talked about that3 briefly yesterday.4 A. Oh. Wait a second. Sorry. This is

    5 different than what we looked at yesterday.6 Q. No?7 A. Is this the same one we looked at8 yesterday?9 Q. I think so.

    10 Did we mark it? Okay, so -- have you11 seen it?12 A. I've looked at it now, yes.13 Q. All right. What is it?14 A. Well, this is a study plan, October15 1999, for the MRGO reevaluation study. Since16 we outlines at the time how the Corps, um --17 the planning approach that we would use for

    18 conducting the study, various rolls of the19 technical divisions we have and budget, um -- a20 little bit of background on the project itself.21 Q. Does it reference the Congressional22 resolution?23 A. No.24 Q. Should it have?25 A. No. I believe the resolution was --

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    1 resolutions were appropriations language law2 that came subsequent to the date of this3 document.

    4 Q. Okay. All right. So the reevaluation5 was not done in response to a Congressional6 resolution.7 A. I don't know that it was initiated in8 response to a Congressional resolution.9 Q. Okay.

    10 A. I'm not sure if -- because there would11 be dollars required to initiate this if we went12 back to the committees and asked for, um --13 reprogramming authority to use funds in one14 manner or another.15 Q. Sure.16 A. I'm not sure about that. We'd have to

    17 look at the record to see.18 Q. Well, I'm just trying to establish19 whether the initiating party was the Congress20 or the Corps. And it sounds like the21 initiating party, the person who came up with22 the idea to pursue this, was the Corps.23 A. Well, I think that, you know, the24 concept behind doing a reevaluation is25 generated by, again, some local, um -- desires,

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    1 if you will, to look into the project in a2 different manner. The port, as I mentioned,3 was expressing that they would move facilities4 from the Industrial Canal area to the river

    5 and, therefore, the future economics of the6 navigation channel could be in question. And7 so the expression of the port's interest from8 that standpoint is something that the Corps9 would have considered in looking to initiate

    10 the reevaluation.11 Q. Isn't it a fact that for a long period12 of time within this office, the New Orleans13 District office, there has been a difference of14 opinion as to whether or not the channel should15 remain open in the first instance?16 A. I'm not sure I understand what you17 mean by first instance in that case.

    18 Q. In other words, that there was a19 dialogue in this office for many, many years,20 there were those in this office who wanted to21 keep the channel open for navigation purposes22 and there was another group in this office who23 believed that the damage that was being done to24 the environment was so great that there really25 was a substantial need to close the channel and

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    1 that the use of the channel was not sufficient2 to justify keeping it open? Isn't that what --3 isn't that what was going on here for years and

    4 years and years?5 A. I think, you know, that's kind of a6 general characterization but, yeah, that is the7 type of discussions that were ongoing between8 staff level elements here at the district.9 Q. Right.

    10 A. The thing that is important about it,11 though, is that it doesn't necessarily respond12 to the authorization status and the13 appropriations received by the Corps for the14 project. You know, if you're getting -- you15 have an authorization to operate and maintain a16 project and you're receiving funds to do that,

    17 you have to carry out the direction of the18 Congress in that sense.19 Q. When the Corps went to the Congress20 for authorization -- I'm sorry. For continued21 funding for operations and maintenance, did it22 tell -- and I don't want to couch this in terms23 of what it told Congress, but did this office24 tell higher-ups about all of the environmental25 damages that were being caused by the channel,

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    1 so that the Congress -- so that the higher ups2 could ascertain whether or not this was a3 project that would merit continued funding?4 A. I believe we went through, yesterday,

    5 a number of the reconnaisance documents for6 shore protection, and we had talked not7 specifically but in general about other8 evaluations of the channel that discussed9 environmental aspects associated with it,

    10 salinity, bank erosion --11 Q. Right. We did.12 A. -- opportunities for environmental13 protection, and those documents, in fact we14 talked about some of them in specific, had15 memorandums where there was review by higher16 authorities within the Corps. So yes, the17 answer is the district would have informed

    18 others about the environmental setting of the19 project, as well as the other aspects that were20 under evaluation for continuation of21 maintenance.22 Q. We know that those in the office who23 wanted to continue the use of the channel for24 navigation purposes understood the need for25 continued dredging because without continued

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    1 dredging you wouldn't use it for navigational2 purposes. Isn't that true?3 A. Well, it would limit the use of the

    4 channel to the available draft.5 Q. All right. So what I'm trying to6 understand is whether or not the information7 about the damages that the MRGO were causing8 was tied to the request for money for continued9 operation and maintenance, or was it separate?

    10 MR. SMITH:11 I'd just like to make a note that12 John Saia was designated to address13 the budgeting and funding issues which14 were Topic Number 3.15 But you can answer to the16 extent --

    17 To the extent of his knowledge18 Mr. Miller can address that.19 MR. BRUNO:20 All right.21 A. I can't say specifically at the time,22 um -- budgets are developed on a continuing23 basis at the direction of the administration24 and I don't know what the specific25 requirement -- in fact, I'm not even sure

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    1 exactly what time we're talking about right2 now -- would have been. Um -- in general, the3 budget is a roll-up of dollar figures. There4 are some explanations, today -- and I'm not

    5 sure again in the past what level of detail6 would accompany that -- but there are7 background sheets or justification or other8 supporting information that is part of the9 budget preparation process. And that's my

    10 knowledge today. I'm, again, not sure what11 time frame we're talking about right now or12 what the requirement was at that point.13 Q. Okay. All right. Well, let me see if14 I can understand. I think what you've15 testified to is that all of the information16 gathered by the Corps over the years about the17 damage that the MRGO was doing to the

    18 environment, coupled with information about the19 fact that the channel wasn't being used as much20 as it was originally designed for, reached the21 point where the Corps decided to initiate this22 reevaluation study. Right? That's basically23 what we've learned from your testimony.24 A. In essence, yes, that's right.25 Q. Okay. And we know that that occurred

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    1 sometime in what, 1999 or '98, thereabouts?2 A. Thereabouts.3 Q. All right. Was there something that

    4 was a catalyst that -- because again we've5 established that the dialogue between those who6 felt like the navigation issues prevailed over7 the environment versus those who thought that8 the environment prevailed or the navigation9 issues, that had been going on for many, many

    10 years before 1998, right?11 A. I can't say about the internal12 discussions. I didn't work for the Corps at13 the time. And I know you're going to tell me14 I'm a 30(b)(6) or whatever, but there were15 efforts under various authorities, and part of16 the authority was to operate and maintain --

    17 part of the directive, the funding and18 authority, was to operate and maintain the19 channel. There were other authorities that20 evolved over the course of the life of this21 project that directed the Corps to do other --22 investigation. We talked about it yesterday23 with the '82 resolution for shore erosion24 protection. There may be elements within the25 district that are assigned to work on one

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    1 aspect of the project or another, both solely2 underneath the directive of the Congress and3 they're not necessarily always consistent with4 each other.

    5 Q. All right. But all I was trying to6 establish was, the dialogue had been going on7 for some period of time before 1998. That's8 all.9 A. Well, but your reference is to the

    10 dialogue within the building in that sentence,11 and that's my point is I wasn't on the team at12 that point. I can tell you that in general13 there are multiple authorities in place at14 times -- for example, the Coastal Wetlands15 Planning Protection and Restoration Act passed16 in 1990 has authority for the restoration of17 wetlands in coastal Louisiana. So there may

    18 have been elements at the district working on19 that program where that are opportunities for20 protection of the environment in the area of21 the MRGO. At the same time, you have elements22 in the operations division that are working to23 keep the channel maintained at its authorized24 depth.25 Q. Well, the idea that something needed

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    1 to be done didn't just occur in 1998. You've2 just testified that this is a process that's3 been going on since at least 1967. Right?

    4 That is, what do we do about the fact that this5 project is eroding the banks and causing damage6 to the environment? That has been going on for7 at least twenty years before 1998.8 A. I'm not sure I understand your9 question right now, though. What has been

    10 going on?11 Q. The information -- the Corps has12 possessed information about the fact that the13 channel is causing damage to the environment14 for twenty years before 1998. Right?15 A. Yes.16 Q. Okay. And for some period of time

    17 before 1998 the Corps was aware that the18 channel wasn't being used in the same way that19 it was used by the maritime industry. Isn't20 that true?21 A. Yes.22 Q. All right. I'm just trying to figure23 out what was it in 1998 that caused -- that24 pushed, you know, the Corps into actually doing25 the reevaluation study, was it a particular

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    1 event, was it a particular piece of2 information, was it a phone call? If you know,3 what was it that caused the Corps to actually4 start the process of a reevaluation study?

    5 MR. SMITH:6 Objection. Asked and answered.7 A. I feel like we have talked about that.8 There was an expressed interest of the Port of9 New Orleans in potential of moving certain

    10 facilities from one area to another and,11 therefore, the possibility would exist that12 there would be less justification for the13 channel.14 EXAMINATION BY MR. BRUNO:15 Q. Okay.16 A. Based on that expression from the17 local sponsor for the navigation project, the

    18 Corps looked into reevaluating the continued19 justification for the channel.20 Q. All right. So it was the fact that21 the port had communicated the fact that it was22 considering moving some of its assess from the23 Industrial Canal to the river, that's the piece24 of information that motivate the Corps to move25 into a reevaluation study, right?

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    1 A. Well, I think there are other factors,2 too. I think, you know, again there's this3 history of the reconnaisance evaluation and the

    4 recognition that there are environmental5 concerns about the channel. And so there a6 number of -- you're not in a sense just looking7 at one element of the project.8 Q. But something spurred the Corps to do9 something. Something occurred to get them to

    10 move from the thinking in the past, which was a11 dialogue that lasted twenty years, to actually12 doing this reevaluation. And I'm just -- if13 it's the port, it's the information about the14 port, then that's fine. Something had to get15 them to move, right?16 A. Well, I'm saying that I think there

    17 are other elements to it.18 Q. I know there's --19 A. The historic timing of things is --20 we're not bringing it up because they're not21 Corps reports, but there was also a discussion22 of the development of a millennium port where23 you would move facilities from the port of New24 Orleans area closer to the gulf so that25 maritime operations in Louisiana were more

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    1 competitive on a global basis. There are plans2 in the works for coastal restoration that3 discuss the MRGO. There is a letter that the4 port expressed interest in potentially, you

    5 know, moving facilities away from it. That's6 one of the factors that went into it. But7 there are other external factors separate from8 the pure navigation aspect of it. I'm just9 trying to tell you just there's multiple

    10 reasons there.11 Q. Now, this document, this is a study12 plan. So what is a study plan?13 A. It's just an overview of the authority14 available for conducting a study, some15 background on the reason -- the project itself16 or the potential project, the types of17 alternatives that might be considered, the

    18 roles of the technical elements within the19 study team in producing information to help20 with evaluation and comparison, a budget,21 typically an estimate of a budget, and a22 general schedule for conducting the work.23 Q. All right. And there's no mention24 here about the plans of the port to move any of25 its facilities, right?

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    1 A. There's a mention in the third2 paragraph, first page, about information3 received, and it just lists agencies, it does

    4 not give any specifics of what that information5 is. But the Port of New Orleans is one of the6 providing entities in that.7 Q. All right. And at Page 4 where it8 says proposed actions being considered, it9 simply talks about the fact that the proposed

    10 modifications may necessitate the relocation of11 some of the businesses located on the IHNC or12 the MRGO, right?13 A. Yes, it does.14 Q. Okay. Now, this document at Page 615 under engineering division talks about what16 engineering is expected to do, right?

    17 A. That's correct.18 Q. Okay. And you've already testified19 that the reason for this thing is to evaluate,20 you know, the project to determine whether or21 not there's -- maybe to look primarily at the22 navigation use versus the loss of the23 environment and the like. Help me understand24 why it is that there is a desire to evaluate25 hurricane surge. How is that connected to

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    1 either the navigation or the potential of the2 channel to cause damage to the environment?3 A. I think we'd go to the language in the4 study plan on Page 3. There's a paragraph and

    5 I'll read a sentence from it.6 Q. Sure.7 A. And this goes to why hurricane --8 evaluation of surge is important in terms of9 how the conduct this reevaluation. It states,

    10 me recent storms such as Hurricane Georges11 played havoc with keeping the deep draft12 channel functional. And so if we're evaluating13 the economics of the maintenance of the14 channel, if there are impacts to the depth of15 the channel because of storm events, then that16 results in costs. Those costs are a cost of17 the project for its maintenance, that may

    18 impact the justification for continuing to19 operate the project under its current20 authority.21 Q. Well, is says evaluate hurricane22 stages. Do you know what they're referring to23 when they say hurricane stages?24 A. In general, you know, the level of25 water associated with hurricanes.

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    1 Q. Right. Now, how does a level of water2 tell you anything about silting in the channel?3 MR. SMITH:

    4 I'd just like to note that we're5 going to have Nancy Powell address the6 influence of hurricane surges on --7 MR. BRUNO:8 Yes, I know that. But I'm trying9 to understand why they're studying it

    10 here in the reevaluation study.11 MR. SMITH:12 If you know.13 A. Well, in general, there's some14 background information provided here that15 demonstrates that previous storms have resulted16 in impacts to the channel, the depth of the

    17 channel. And those result an added cost for18 the maintenance of the channel and, therefore,19 if you're trying to evaluate the future in20 terms of should there be any changes in the21 authorized depths of the channel, the costs for22 maintain those depths should be considered and23 hurricanes are a factor that influence the24 potential maintenance cost of the project.25 Q. Okay. Do you know what scoping is?

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    1 A. Do you have a page reference?2 Q. Yes.3 A. Read the context.4 Q. I have an NPM 38-21 through -- let me

    5 mark it. Let me mark this as 52.6 (Exhibit 52 was marked for7 identification and is attached hereto.)8 (Off the record.)9 A. I do know what it means.

    10 EXAMINATION BY MR. BRUNO:11 Q. All right. What does it mean?12 A. Well, it's an element, um -- in the13 compliance with the National Environmental14 Policy Act. We typically refer to public15 scoping in the initiation phase of NEPA16 compliance where we will provide basic17 information about a project or an investigation

    18 and then we will go to the public and ask for19 their input on the problem itself, the20 potential solutions, if you will, and then21 there are comments about the issue of concern.22 And so a document is developed after that that23 is a scoping report that documents the comments24 received during that process.25 Q. All right. And so it also documents

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    1 the degree to which there is a coordination2 between other agencies in connection with the3 reevaluation study itself, right?

    4 A. In this particular case, yes. And in5 general, and I apologize for leaving that out,6 the, um -- the element is not just public in7 nature, it's governmental and intergovernmental8 in nature.9 Q. Okay. And at Page 2 where it says

    10 study purpose, the first paragraph.11 A. Uh-huh.12 Q. It says, the environmental and flood13 control benefits of channel modifications will14 also be investigated. You see that sentence?15 A. I do.16 Q. All right. So that would suggest that

    17 the fact that the they're studying hurricanes18 has to do with a lot more than just whether or19 not hurricanes cause increased maintenance20 dredging, right?21 A. Can I see the previous document that22 we spoke about a minute ago?23 Q. Which was what?24 MR. KELLS:25 (Tendering.)

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    1 A. Again, you know, elements change over2 time. This is an October '99 study plan and3 this is a scoping report from November 2001,4 but in the study plan I'll point out, and it's

    5 on Page 8, paragraph -- or Section 9, local6 cooperation, it just says, it should be noted7 that this study would not address environmental8 restoration or hurricane protection, per se, it9 will be limited to addressing issues that are

    10 directly related to the navigation channel.11 Q. Okay.12 A. This may have evolved over -- you13 know, over time.14 Q. All right. Well, at least as of 200115 there is an evolution of purpose to include16 environmental and flood control benefits as17 general modifications, right? I'm still at

    18 Page 2.19 A. Sorry. Ask again, please.20 (Whereupon the previous question was21 read back.)22 A. You know, in reading the sentence, the23 environmental and flood control benefits of24 channel modification will also be investigated,25 I believe it's in reference to the potential

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    1 alternatives that would be under consideration2 and whether, you know, those would have some3 influence in terms of environmental impacts or

    4 hurricane impacts and such. It's not -- it's5 still relative to the potential modification of6 the channel under the reevaluation7 alternatives.8 EXAMINATION BY MR. BRUNO:9 Q. Why don't you read the next -- the

    10 paragraph that starts with construction, on the11 same page.12 A. Okay.13 Q. All right. That would suggest quite14 the contrary, that there is a suggestion for15 the need to investigate whether or not there's16 a connection between the channel and increased

    17 hurricane surge. They're saying specifically,18 this needs to be investigated; right?19 A. It says that, right.20 Q. Okay.21 A. And I don't think there's -- and, you22 know, the answer, I don't think there is any23 argument in that, you know, part of the record24 of what we've talked about in terms of the25 scoping report and some of the other documents.

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    1 Q. Right. Except that it's not limited2 to the changes proposed to the channel, it's3 also including the channel itself. It says4 construction of the MRGO caused ecosystem

    5 changes and wetlands loss. The long term6 effects of the channel, including saltwater7 intrusion from the Gulf of Mexico and shoreline8 erosion are continuing to cause the loss of9 coastal wetlands. In addition, many local

    10 residents and elected officials believe that11 the channel increases the potential for12 hurricane storm surge flooding by providing a13 direct route for floodwater from the Gulf of14 Mexico. These issues need to be investigated.15 All I'm suggesting is, this paragraph16 seems to show that the connection between the17 channel and hurricane surge and the desire for

    18 study goes beyond just the proposed changes and19 includes the channel as it exists at the point20 in time.21 A. It does. And there's a purpose behind22 that, because it is a part of the requirements23 of the National Environmental Policy Act to24 look at no action. And in the sense of a25 project that is already authorized and

    Page 378

    1 continuing to be operated, no action would be2 to the continuation of your current activities.3 And so we need to look at those aspects of this

    4 when evaluating the no action alternative.5 Q. Right. Well, no action means that you6 stop dredging or that you're just continuing on7 the course?8 A. No action in the sense of no9 modification, continue the current operation of

    10 the channel. If we refer back again to the11 study plan, Page -- excuse me, this is October12 '99 MRGO reevaluation study plan, Section 4,13 Alternative Plan Development, the first bullet:14 Continue to maintain the existing deep draft15 channel.16 Q. Sure.

    17 A. That was one of the alternatives that18 would be considered.19 Q. Fair enough.20 A. And it goes to trying to be21 comprehensive in terms of the NEPA evaluation.22 Q. Fine. And that means that because23 NEPA made this requirement that this24 requirement has been a requirement since 1970.25 Right?

    Page 379

    1 A. That's correct.2 Q. Okay. So if the Corps needed to3 investigate the connection between hurricane4 surge and the MRGO it needed to do so as early

    5 as 1970.6 A. Not necessarily.7 Q. Why not?8 A. It may not have been an issue raised9 at the time in terms of the particular project

    10 authorization.11 Q. By whom?12 A. Well, this is a scoping report. It13 takes information from various sources and it14 says that these are, you know, issues of15 concern, and how does it relate to the16 evaluations we intend to conduct here?17 Q. Well, certainly we agree that it's

    18 been an issue of concern by the, quote, local19 residents and elected officials, for at least20 thirty years.21 MR. SMITH:22 0bjection. Vague.23 A. In the context of this particular24 paragraph, it puts no timing on the statement.25 Have we discussed in the past, even prior to

    Page 380

    1 the authorization, the folks that --2 absolutely. And there were evaluations3 conducted at the time.

    4 Q. Okay. But what's different about 19985 and 1970 in the context of NEPA with regard to6 the perceived need to study or investigate7 these issues referring to the connection8 between, if any, the MRGO and increased storm9 surge flooding? What are the differences

    10 between 1970 and 1998?11 A. I think it's important to look at, and12 it's shown later in this particular document,13 the level of public comment provided to the14 Corps in the scoping of this evaluation versus15 what we may have received in the -- for other16 studies in the past. There are references in

    17 here to petitions and 1700 people, a number of18 different studies are recognized. Um -- and it19 talks about vast majority of comment received.20 Q. Okay. So I'm gathering from your21 testimony it's the volume of public outcry that22 requires the Corps to respond to NEPA.23 A. No, not necessarily. I assume that in24 this particular scoping document there are25 references to a lot of, um -- these petitions

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    1 other documents provided in the scoping2 process.3 Q. Right.4 A. You know, in previous -- you know, I

    5 think the level of responsibility to respond to6 comment would be the same under the law, it's7 just you may not have received that same level8 of interest in the previous efforts.9 Q. Okay. We agree that the Corps'

    10 responsibility to respond to NEPA is the same11 in 1970 as it is in 1998; right?12 A. Yes.13 Q. Okay. And so the only difference14 between 1970 and 1998 with regard to the issue15 of the potential connection between MRGO 's16 effect on the environment, and increased -- I'm17 sorry, and increases in the potential for

    18 hurricane storm surge flooding is the volume of19 public opinion on the issue, as between 197020 and 1998, right? That's the only thing that's21 changed.22 A. Well, I'm not sure if that is right,23 because there may be added technical24 understanding of an issue, um -- there may25 be --

    Page 382

    1 Q. Well, this is NEPA study now.2 A. -- there may be more widespread3 knowledge of something. There are a number of

    4 factors that could go into it. It's not5 just -- I'll try to stay out of hypotheticals,6 but just because we get ten thousand letters7 doesn't mean we're going to do something about8 something. It doesn't mean they're all right.9 You have to look at the issue at hand in that

    10 sense.11 Q. Agreed. And the issue was the same in12 1970, that is, this issue about the potential13 for the channel to increase the potential for14 hurricane storm surge flooding, that was the15 same in 1970 as it was in 1998; isn't that16 true?

    17 A. No.18 Q. Well, what changed? I mean, you19 testified already that the salinity and erosion20 had caused a stabilization of whatever21 environmental losses by the mid 1970s. So the22 environmental conditions had been established23 by that time, and the channel is still there,24 and hurricanes still come, so what's different25 about the issue? And that issue is, again, the

    Page 383

    1 potential connection between the channel and2 the potential for increase of storm surge3 flooding, between -- let's move it up, let's4 say mid seventies where you said the

    5 environment had stabilized and 1998? I'll give6 you that. What's the difference?7 A. Well, I think we're taking things out8 of context here. This is a scoping document9 that is expressing the concerns that people

    10 have raised at the initiation phase of an11 investigation. We didn't look at the scoping12 documents for the environmental statement we13 discussed yesterday from 1976. We can look and14 see if those elements were raised as issues of15 concern. We also need to look at the purpose16 of the evaluation. This is a reevaluation of17 the, um -- the channel. That was not the

    18 purpose of the study we discussed -- excuse me,19 the environmental impact statement we discussed20 yesterday.21 Q. Well, you told me in response to my22 question that it was NEPA that caused the need23 for investigation between the channel and the24 potential for storm surge flooding. We've25 established that NEPA came into existence in

    Page 384

    1 1970. We know that there was a reconnaisance2 study in '88 and '94. So I'm trying to3 understand if NEPA is the reason why you got to

    4 study this issue, then you needed to study this5 issue before, if there's been no change in6 either the environment or hurricanes. Isn't7 that true?8 MR. SMITH:9 Objection. Calls for

    10 speculation.11 A. I'll provide a general answer to your12 question. I think it goes to the purpose of an13 evaluation. It goes to what information is14 received into scoping out or setting up that15 evaluation. It also goes to the element of16 time. We have in this particular case a number

    17 of other authorities that are underway,18 evaluating restoration for all of coastal19 Louisiana, looking at a number of factors. At20 the time of the '76 document, those authorities21 were not in place. And so there's additional22 information available that tells us that maybe23 you should look at a broader aspect of this24 evaluation.25 Q. Is there anything that would have

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    1 prevented the Corps from doing a reevaluation2 study in 1970?3 A. I don't recall -- no, I don't think4 there would be anything that would prevent us,

    5 um -- it may have required, at the time,6 specific Congressional authorization.7 Q. For the money.8 A. I'm not sure.9 Q. For the money, not the study.

    10 A. Well, it may have also required to11 authority. I'm not sure of the -- we talked12 yesterday about the 216 authority. I don't13 remember the date of the availability of that14 authority.15 Q. Does NEPA give you any authority to do16 a reevaluation study?17 A. Not as I understand it.

    18 Q. Okay. It suggests here that NEPA19 established a nationwide policy to include in20 every recommendation or report on proposals for21 major federal actions significantly affecting22 the environment a detailed statement of the23 environmental impact of the proposed action.24 So is that the connection between NEPA25 and these reports?

    Page 386

    1 A. Well, the report in question is the2 specific scoping report, which is a3 requirement -- well, which is a tool that we

    4 use in the early stage of development of an5 investigation or study to enable public6 involvement, interaction with the resource7 agencies and others.8 Q. All right. Can I conclude -- this is9 an accurate statement, right? This sentence

    10 that I just read, the first sentence of the11 scoping report --12 A. Yes.13 Q. -- that the 1988 reconnaisance report14 and the 1994 reconnaisance report should have15 contained, first, a no action evaluation and16 that no action evaluation should have contained

    17 an assessment of whether or not the channel18 increases the potential for hurricane storm19 surge flooding. Right?20 MR. SMITH:21 Objection. Asked and answered.22 A. No. That's incorrect.23 EXAMINATION BY MR. BRUNO:24 Q. All right. Why is it incorrect?25 A. Because it's a reconnaisance study.

    Page 387

    1 It doesn't require -- it doesn't recommend,2 um -- you know, a major federal action. The3 result of it is a decision on whether or not to4 pursue a feasibility investigation. There's no

    5 on-the-ground, um -- result of the6 reconnaisance study so, therefore, it doesn't7 require a NEPA document.8 Q. Okay.9 A. If you read the reconnaissance

    10 study --11 Q. It recommends foreshore protection.12 A. -- in the plan of how to conduct a13 feasibility study it includes the element of14 performing NEPA compliance.15 Q. All right. I'm going to show you16 Exhibit Number 53, the Report of the17 Environmental subcommittee.

    18 Just tell me what role it has -- just19 tell me what it is and what relevance it has to20 the reevaluation study.21 MR. BRUNO:22 We're not going to mark it 53,23 we're just going to refer to -- do we24 know the number?25 MR. SMITH:

    Page 388

    1 It's not marked.2 (Off the record.)3 MR. BRUNO:

    4 All right. For the record, we've5 established that this document is6 already marked as Number 12, and you7 say we've already gone into it with8 Saia, so --9 EXAMINATION BY MR. BRUNO:

    10 Q. Do you know why or how it was that11 these four, actually five, I guess, proposed12 alternatives were chosen? One of them is the13 no action? I'm looking at -- we called it14 Russo 8, and I don't know if we marked it here,15 but it's the redesign of the channel to be16 maintained at 125 by 12 and the next one is 160

    17 by 16, 200 by 20, total closure and no action.18 Do you know how those alternatives19 came to be? (Tendering.) Who chose them and20 why were they selected?21 A. I don't in terms of the 2001 document22 that you're referencing. I think if we looked23 at the draft report there should be a24 description of the alternatives, and there25 might -- there should be included in there a

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    1 basis for why the various dimensions --2 Q. Which one do you want, May or3 September?4 A. Well, let's take the latest one. I

    5 think they're all drafts, but.6 Q. Yeah. Let's mark that as Exhibit 53.7 (Exhibit 53 was marked for8 identification and is attached hereto.)9 A. I'm looking at Page 47. Alternative 1

    10 is no action. It describes that, you know,11 again, as I've explained earlier, that this12 would actually continue to maintain the MRGO as13 authorized.14 EXAMINATION BY MR. BRUNO:15 Q. Right. Sure.16 A. That's an element of NEPA. You know,17 it's a comparative.

    18 Q. Sure.19 A. Do something or do nothing, and what20 are the results in terms of project benefits21 and impacts? Second is -- and the point here22 is that there's a number of alternatives in the23 draft report that are beyond what -- which is24 dated in 2005.25 Q. And I don't necessarily have to go

    Page 390

    1 through each one of them, I just wanted to2 understand who picked them and why. You know,3 what is the process by which -- you got 120

    4 feet. How come it's not 110 or 130? You know,5 what's the logic employed in the selection of6 these alternates?7 A. The only one that I know the logic8 behind was the 12 by 125 dimension, which is a9 match of the authorized dimensions of the gulf

    10 Intracoastal waterway. If you want, I can11 spend some time looking at the rationale and12 see if --13 Q. Okay.14 A. -- the various other dimensions, um --15 were recommended by Corps or if they were the16 port or if they were just simply trying to be

    17 incremental in evaluation.18 Q. That's okay. Let me just ask you this19 question: The Corps recognized during the time20 that it was doing the reevaluation the need to21 study the connection if any between each of22 those alternatives and hurricane surge23 flooding, the potential for increasing the24 hurricane surge flooding, right?25 A. Right. It was, you know, as we talked

    Page 391

    1 before the break, you know, in the scoping2 process an element of significant public3 concern.4 Q. Now, if the evaluation had revealed

    5 that there was a connection between either the6 no action, the closure or any of these however7 many there were, and there was also a decision8 to go forward with any one of those projects,9 there would be the need to deal with the

    10 connection between that selected option and the11 increased potential for hurricane surge, right?12 A. By phrasing deal with, you mean to13 have --14 Q. Fix it.15 A. -- a recommendation element that16 addressed that?17 Q. Yeah. Right.

    18 A. If there was a connection established,19 the recommended plan could either have a20 specific feature or it could point to another21 authority that already addresses --22 Q. Sure.23 A. -- you know, that concern.24 Q. And is it true that the cost of that25 feature would necessarily be a cost of that

    Page 392

    1 particular project, that is, the alternate or2 the particular proposal that may have been3 recommended?

    4 A. I believe it would depend on how5 Congress chose to authorize that6 recommendation. If the result of the study is7 to take a new action that requires8 Congressional authorization, the Congress would9 have to authorize all of the features and then

    10 subsequently appropriate the dollars for11 construction of those features. So it's12 dependent on the Congressional authorization.13 Q. Well, in the past it was dependent14 upon how the Corps characterized the feature.15 For example, in the context of the foreshore16 protection, you remember there was the dialogue

    17 about whether the Corps itself wanted to try to18 charge it to the hurricane protection versus19 the navigation project, and the Corps20 recognized that because the navigation project21 was the source of the problem that the Corps22 felt like it was the navigation project that23 should be charged with the fix, if you will.24 Would that be true in the context of25 this feasibility study if one of the alternates

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    1 chosen had demonstrated a connection between2 that alternate and the increased potential for3 hurricane surge flooding?4 A. My recollection of some of the

    5 memorandum associated with the foreshore6 decision was that it did not set any precedent7 for subsequent projects or, you know, a8 national precedent, so that leads me to think9 that it would be a case-by-case determination

    10 in the aspects of this, if you're requiring11 some new authority you're going to have to have12 Congressional action to provide you that13 authority and then Congressional action to give14 you the appropriations to implement it. So15 again, I'll go back that I would think that it16 would be up to the Congress to determine the17 allocation of costs between one project or

    18 another in that sense.19 Q. Okay. That's all the questions I20 have.21 (Whereupon the deposition was22 concluded.)23


    Page 394


    4 certify that the foregoing testimony was given5 by me, and that the transcription of said6 testimony, with corrections and/or changes, if7 any, is true and correct as given by me on the8 aforementioned date.9

    10 ______________ _________________________11 DATE SIGNED GREGORY MILLER12

    13 _______ Signed with corrections as noted.14

    15 _______ Signed with no corrections noted.16





    2425 DATE TAKEN: October 15th, 2008

    Page 395

    1 REPORTER'S CERTIFICATE2 I, JOSEPH A. FAIRBANKS, JR., CCR, RPR,3 Certified Court Reporter in and for the State4 of Louisiana, do hereby certify that the

    5 aforementioned witness, after having been first6 duly sworn by me to testify to the truth, did7 testify as hereinabove set forth;8 That said deposition was taken by me9 in computer shorthand and thereafter

    10 transcribed under my supervision, and is a true11 and correct transcription to the best of my12 ability and understanding.13 I further certify that I am not of14 counsel, nor related to counsel or the parties15 hereto, and am in no way interested in the16 result of said cause.17



    2223 ____________________________________24 JOSEPH A. FAIRBANKS, JR., CCR, RPR25 CERTIFIED COURT REPORTER #75005

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