Chambliss Urges Responsible Management of ACF River System During Congressional Field Hearing
August 11, 2006
GAINESVILLE - U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga, Tuesday urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to responsibly manage the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River system which Georgians across the state rely on for various needs.
Chambliss joined U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., at a field hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, on which Isakson serves, to address water allocation between Georgia, Florida, and Alabama and the impact the situation is having on Lake Lanier. Chambliss and Isakson plan to hold a future hearing downstream.
"Georgia's water resources are a precious commodity that we rely on for municipal drinking supply, to give us electricity, for commerce, for irrigating crops, to sustain critical habitat, and for recreation," said Chambliss.
"The fact of the matter is that the ACF river system is the lifeblood of the economy and the environment for a major part of the Southeast, but right now the system is out of balance. It is critical that the water manuals are updated so that fair decisions can be made about competing needs in the upper, middle and lower basins," said Chambliss, who has criticized the Corps for erroneously releasing too much water from Lake Lanier.
"There has not been an updated water control plan for the ACF in more than 50 years, and I believe this lack of a master control plan is the root of a number of problems we have experienced.
"Unfortunately, although the Corps of Engineers is mandated by statute and by regulation to maintain updated water control manuals, due to the ongoing litigation between Georgia, Florida, and Alabama over water resources, they have not done so.
"This must be addressed, because all stakeholders deserve fairness, consistency, and transparency in the operation of this system."
Witnesses from today's hearing include Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, Brig. Gen. Michael J. Walsh of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Forsyth County Commission Chairman Jack Conway, Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce President Kit Dunlap and Jackie Joseph of the Lake Lanier Association.