Isakson, Chambliss Cite Judge's Statement in Pressing Corps Again to Include Water Supply in Update to Water Control Plan for River Basin Serving Georgia, Alabama, Florida
U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., today pressed federal officials again to include the effects of current and future water supply withdrawals from Lake Lanier in the update of the water control manual for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin.
Isakson and Chambliss have consistently pushed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to update its outdated water control plan for the river basin that serves Georgia, Alabama and Florida.
The text of the letter to Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, and Lt. Gen. Robert Van Antwerp is below:
Dear Secretary Darcy and General Antwerp:
We are writing regarding the ongoing update of the water control manual for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin. In particular, we are concerned about the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement in light of the recent order by Judge Paul Magnuson.
As you are aware, on July 21, 2010, Judge Paul Magnuson issued his ruling in Phase 2 of the Tri-State Water Rights Litigation. In his order, Judge Magnuson specifically cautioned the Corps against limiting the scope of the analysis in the ACF Basin to anything short of "all reasonable alternatives." The order further stated that "an EIS that does not at least consider the effects of current and future water supply withdrawals from Lake Lanier as well as other points in the ACF system is, for all intents and purposes, a useless document."
We agree with Judge Magnuson's above statements and urge the Corps to take all options into account as you update this manual. Specifically, in light of this most recent order, we trust that the Corps will revise the scope of the current Environmental Impact Statement. We have been advocating for an updated water control manual for the ACF for many years, as the last approved master manual for the ACF Basin dates back to 1958. We strongly believe that the Corps can update the manual in a way that accommodates any solution resulting from ongoing negotiations between the Governors of Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.
To that end, we would like a status update on what progress has been made on the manuals and what changes in scope are planned in light of the most recent court ruling. Please ask your staff to contact Tyler Stephens (Chambliss) and Michael Quiello (Isakson) on our staff to arrange a meeting. We appreciate your consideration of our views, and your attention to our request.