An engineer with the state’s coastal restoration agency has been selected to direct the work of the authority responsible for overseeing flood control on the West Bank.
The commissioners of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority — West unanimously picked John Monzon as the authority’s new director at a meeting Monday night.
Monzon has been the operations division chief for the state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority since 2008. In that position, he was involved in managing and reviewing construction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ $14.5 billion hurricane protection system for the New Orleans region, the same system the levee authority is charged with operating and maintaining.
Prior to that, Monzon worked for the state Department of Transportation and Development as a design engineer in the New Orleans region, responsible for planning levee lifts and repairs.
“The combination of Monzon’s experience at CPRA, his familiarity with the key issues facing the authority and his leadership abilities made him an unsurpassed candidate,” authority President Susan Maclay said in a statement. “We think the transition will be seamless, which is critical as the start of hurricane season approaches.”
Monzon will replace Giuseppe Miserendino, who announced earlier this year that he planned to leave the Flood Protection Authority. He is expected to leave in August.
“I look forward to continuing to provide the citizens and businesses of the West Bank with the high level of flood protection that they deserve,” Monzon said in a statement.
The Flood Protection Authority is one of two regional entities responsible for flood protection in the New Orleans area. It covers the flood protection efforts on the West Bank of Orleans and Jefferson parishes, while a sister agency is responsible for flood protection on the Bank.
The East Bank authority has been the subject of controversy since last summer, when it filed a suit against 97 oil and gas companies alleging they were responsible for significant damage to coastal wetlands that has led to more devastating storm surges. The West Bank authority has opposed that suit.