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Federal Permitting Process

The Port of New Orleans is conducting a detailed impact analysis for the proposed terminal, which is required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Port NOLA will share the results of the analyses with the Army Corps of Engineers for consideration in its permitting decision.

Environmental Review Process

What is Involved?

NEPA requires federal agencies like the Army Corps of Engineers to consider how a project could impact the natural and human environments before issuing permits for construction. The Army Corps of Engineers has asked Port NOLA to move forward with the environmental review process. Port NOLA hired an outside consultant to conduct a range of impact analyses that cover topics like traffic, quality of life near the terminal, natural habitat and wildlife, the economy, and more.

We are going above and beyond the federal requirements by engaging in early and meaningful public involvement throughout the permitting process. Sign up to receive email updates on upcoming community meetings and input opportunities.

When the analyses are complete, the results will be provided to the Army Corps of Engineers to consider in their permit decision among other factors. 

Key Milestones​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Impacts We've Been Reviewing

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 various open houses in 2022 and 2023, the community asked a variety of questions about the terminal and its potential impacts. Click on the topics below to find out how we are looking into the questions you had. 

Port NOLA will use what we learn to design a better terminal. We will also share the results with the Army Corps of Engineers for consideration in the permitting process. The impact analysis results will be one piece of the puzzle that informs the Army Corps of Engineers' decision.

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.

Light bulbNot Your Typical Permitting Process

To renovate a house or build an addition, a person would need to apply for a permit with finished plans in hand. The federal permitting procedure for the Louisiana International Terminal is different. The terminal will be designed in the course of the environmental study process. 

Get Involved Visit Army Corps Site

Contact the Army Corps of Engineers

If you have questions about this project's docket, contact the Army Corps of Engineers.

Reference Permit Number MVN-2021-00270-EG


United States Army Corps of Engineers
New Orleans District, Regulatory Division (RGE)
Angelle Greer
7400 Leake Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70118

Required Permits

The Louisiana International Terminal will need federal permits because its proposed footprint overlaps with the Mississippi River, Mississippi River levee, and wetlands.

Section 404 of the Clean Water Act

A Wetlands permit is required since the project will be built where there are currently wetlands.



Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act

A Navigable Waterways permit is required since the project will be built along the Mississippi River.

Section 408 of the Rivers and Harbors Act

A Civil Works Projects permit is required since the project will overlap with the Mississippi River Levee.

Recent Updates


Port NOLA Recognizes Senator Kennedy for Ongoing Support of Infrastructure Development in St. Bernard Parish

The St. Bernard Transportation Corridor, a long-needed roadway for St. Bernard parish taht will connect the new $1.8 billion Louisiana International Terminal (LIT) to the interstate system, will receive $15 million in federal funding as part of the recently passed Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) Act for 2024.

Learn More


RPC's Lower St. Bernard Parish, LA Roadway Network & Resilience Study

Currently, the Regional Planning Commission is conducting the initial study that will begin the transportation development process. Their feasibility study will formally document the need for the St. Bernard Transportation Corridor, along with other transportation improvements, and will determine its alignment. 

RPC has kicked off their outreach portion of the study and are encouraging people to visit their project page to learn more about the study and how to get involved. This is the first of many steps in the RPC's project outreach plan and early feedback will support initial community engagement and transportation project scoping efforts.

Visit the Regional Planning Commission's Project Page


Port NOLA Announces $226 Million Landmark Grant Award for the Louisiana International Terminal Project

The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) today announced that it has been awarded an additional $226,220,195 million in federal grant dollars to assist in building the Louisiana International Terminal (LIT), which will create thousands of jobs, drive the economy and position Louisiana as the premier international Gulf gateway.

Aerial_Looking West_Download (2).jpg Learn More


Port of New Orleans Response to “Critical Development Issues Overview Report”

The “Critical Development Issues Overview Report” commissioned by St. Bernard Parish Government is a contradictory attempt to call into question the legitimacy of years of due diligence and planning conducted by global maritime leaders, the Port of New Orleans, the Port of St. Bernard, Louisiana State leadership and federal administrators on the Louisiana International Terminal project.

 Learn More


Port NOLA Awarded $73.77 Million is U.S. DOT Grant for Louisiana International Terminal 

The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) will receive $73.77 million from the federal government to assist in building the Louisiana International Terminal (LIT) project, which will provide an efficient gateway for the movement of cargo on the Mississippi River and the inland waterways of the United States. 

Aerial_Looking West_Download (2).jpg Learn More