Sep 22 2010

Shelby: Corps Must Remain Neutral in Water Wars Dispute

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), today sent a letter to Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Jo-Ellen Darcy, to express his concern regarding the ongoing update of the water control manuals for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin.  Of specific concern to Senator Shelby are recent statements indicating that the Army Corps of Engineers is using a dual track analysis to update the manuals, which takes into account water supply withdrawals from Lake Lanier.  Such an action would be in direct conflict with the clear federal court ruling on the matter, as well as Darcy’s public commitment to adhere to the Court’s decision.
 
“In order for the three States to reach a settlement of their disputes concerning the ACF Basin, it is absolutely essential for the Corps to remain neutral,” said Shelby.  “If the Corps’ leadership is telling one of the three States that it anticipates water supply withdrawals from Lake Lanier, it almost certainly will have an obstructive effect on the settlement negotiations among the three Governors.”

The full text of the letter is below. A scanned copy is attached, as well as a scanned copy of the letter Secretary Darcy sent to Senator Shelby on September 11, 2009.


September 22, 2010

 

The Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy
Office of the Assistant Secretary (Civil Works)
Department of the Army
108 Army Pentagon
Washington, DC 20310-0108

Dear Secretary Darcy,

I am writing concerning the ongoing update of the water control manuals for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin.  While I appreciate your September 3rd correspondence, I remain concerned regarding recent press comments stating the Corps would run a dual track analysis that takes the water supply withdrawals from Lake Lanier into account. 

In your letter to me dated September 11, 2009, you stated that “[t]he Army will not use the process for updating the water control plans and manuals to propose or study any potential reallocation of water inconsistent with the court’s ruling.”  If the Corps has undertaken a dual track analysis, that would be inconsistent with the commitment you made.  If such a dual track analysis is underway, I request that you provide me with a full report on what has been done and what the plans are for the water-supply aspect of the two-track analysis.

In order for the three States to reach a settlement of their disputes concerning the ACF Basin, it is absolutely essential for the Corps to remain neutral.  If the Corps’ leadership is telling one of the three States that it anticipates water supply withdrawals from Lake Lanier, it almost certainly will have an obstructive effect on the settlement negotiations among the three Governors.

I look forward to your prompt reply.
                                                                                    Sincerely,