General Approach to Bank Stabilization
Other consequential effects of a proposed project may be less well-defined, but
perhaps more troublesome. Potential sources of liability and potential litigation are:
Induced bank instability elsewhere;
Induced flooding; and
Physical injury and property damage due to the project.
The engineering aspects of these factors will have been partially addressed in the
analysis of stream stability, and will be further addressed during the selection and design of
stabilization work. However, the legal aspects are another matter, and early examination by
the pessimistic eyes of lawyers reduces the probability of subsequent legal problems arising.
The previous section stated that environmental factors must usually be addressed by
formal legal or regulatory procedures. This section discusses the following broader concepts:
Historical evolution of public perception;
Opportunities and hazards; and
Public and inter-agency cooperation. Historical Evolution of Public Perception
Future generations will likely judge us primarily on how well we protect the
environment. Just as society now regrets indiscriminate dumping of toxic wastes and
drainage of wetlands - once condoned for the sake of presumed economic progress - it
increasingly regrets many of the environmental sacrifices which have been made in water
resource projects for the sake of economic benefits.  Brookes (1988) provides a
comprehensive discussion of riverine environmental concerns, and a history of the translation
of public awareness into law, policy, regulation, and practice.
A policy statement by the Commander of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, General
H.J. Hatch, on 14 February 1990 illustrates the changing public perspective on environmental
"....the environmental aspects of all we do must have equal standing
among....economics and engineering" and "Our commitment must be to
environmentally sustainable development in which we do not compromise the
future while we meet current needs."
Nationwide competition within the Corps of Engineers for environmental design
awards encourages the application of this policy to practice.


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