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Environmental Studies

The Port of New Orleans has begun a detailed impact analysis for the proposed terminal, which is required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This process will help the Army Corps of Engineers decide if it will issue the three permits necessary for construction.

Studies in Progress

A successful project respects the community’s needs. Port NOLA has been gathering public and stakeholder input for over a year to design a container terminal that works well for the shipping industry, neighbors, region, and state.

Through two formal public comment periods and a series of open houses in 2022, the community asked a variety of questions about the terminal and its potential impacts. Click on the topics below to find out how we plan to address the feedback. 

Port NOLA will use the study findings to design a better terminal. The results will also be provided to the Army Corps of Engineers to review during the permitting process.

Light bulbThe Federal Permitting Process

Before construction can begin, Port NOLA needs the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to issue a variety of permits. Federal law requires the Army Corps of Engineers to weigh the project’s potential impacts on the natural and human environments as part of the permitting process. 

Learn More

The new terminal layout includes more space between neighborhoods and the terminal.

We will conduct detailed studies to understand potential impacts to noise, light, and traffic. Based on the results, we will incorporate project features to lessen impacts. This could include landscaping, sound walls, etc.

We are conducting detailed air quality studies to understand potential impacts. We will consider existing refineries and other potential future developments in the area to understand the collective impacts of the terminal and these other refineries and developments.

We, along with our private partners, are making major investments in green technologies to limit emissions. This includes:

  • Shore power
  • Low-emissions vehicles and equipment
  • Container-on-barge services
  • Clean TRIP engine replacement


We plan to study water and wastewater quality. The new terminal layout includes an on-site drainage system to collect terminal runoff. The Mississippi River is naturally deep at the proposed site, so it requires minimal construction dredging and little to no maintenance dredging.

We are working with the Regional Planning Commission, the Department of Transportation and Development, and St. Bernard Parish to conduct traffic studies and assess potential traffic impacts. The new terminal layout includes:

  • An overpass to avoid a rail crossing
  • Support for the construction of the St. Bernard Transportation Corridor.

A Phase I cultural resource study has already been completed. No significant archaeological resources, historical, or cultural resources were found at the proposed site and no tribal objections have been submitted to the U.S. Army Corps.

We will conduct further cultural resource studies.

The new terminal layout keeps the St. Bernard Highway, which is a Scenic Highway, near its current route.

We will analyze the project’s impacts on wetlands and develop a mitigation plan in accordance with federal regulations.

Port NOLA will fully mitigate all impacts to wetlands within the watershed, as required by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in accordance with federal regulations.

We studied other potential locations, and Violet is the best fit because of:

  • Naturally deep water at the dock
  • Access to four interstates
  • Access to six Class-I rail connections
  • 100-year level hurricane protection
  • Excellent waterside navigation
  • No height restrictions for ships, such as bridges

We will study potential impacts on recreational and tourist activities. The new terminal layout includes:

  • Space for a bike and pedestrian path (if desired by the parish)
  • Relocation of the Violet playground.

We aim to positively impact Violet and the parish with job opportunities and tax revenue that can uplift the communities.

We plan to conduct environmental justice assessments in compliance with applicable guidance and regulations.

We will conduct a socioeconomic impact analysis that reviews the projects impacts on:

  • Housing
  • Public services
  • Public safety
  • Population
  • Property values
  • Tax revenue
  • Community cohesion due to project-induced changes (i.e., traffic and land use)

We are conducting site studies to understand:

  • Underground soil conditions
  • Levee and riverbank stability
  • Placement of water, electric, gas, etc., utility lines
  • Existing groundwater levels
  • Placement of pipelines or other infrastructure in the area

We plan to complete biological assessments to understand the project’s impacts on threatened and endangered species and their habitats.

We plan to develop a stormwater management plan and conduct drainage and flood hazard analyses. The new terminal layout includes:

  • An on-site drainage management system
  • A new drainage canal to the 40 Arpent Canal
  • A new drainage pump station on the 40 Arpent Canal

The new drainage system will not burden the existing Violet drainage system.

An initial navigation study has already been completed. Violet was selected for its deep water and other characteristics that make it safe for large ships to navigate.

We will further analyze the potential impacts of terminal operations on Mississippi River navigation.