WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement after today’s hearing concerning the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) and the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa (ACT) River Systems:
“This was an important opportunity for the Senate to hear directly from the Army Corps of Engineers and representatives of all three states about the status of water management in the ACF and ACT basins. This challenging issue has been facing Alabama, Georgia, and Florida for decades. And as the Atlanta metro region continues to consume increasing amounts of water from these shared and limited water resources, it is imperative that all stakeholders have a full understanding of the actions the Corps has taken, or plans to take in the years ahead. I was pleased to be able to ask senior Corps officials detailed questions to understand their plans and to press them to follow the law—including the Water Supply Act of 1958—as important decisions are being made that will have impacts in all three states.
During Monday's hearing, senior Corps officials conceded that Atlanta area interests had violated their water supply contract limits, but the Corps officials agreed to abide by the existing storage contracts at Lake Allatoona as they write the new manuals. This is an important commitment, but we will need to monitor the issue closely to ensure that proper steps are taken. Governor Bentley and the entire Alabama House delegation have written Congressional Leadership about these matters, as have Governor Rick Scott of Florida and the Florida delegation. As importantly, Senate EPW Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer and Ranking Member David Vitter have also correctly advised the Corps to ‘not take actions that favor the position of any of the three States’ but, rather, to serve as a ‘neutral facilitator of a negotiated solution.’ I am hopeful that today’s hearing helped emphasize the importance of these efforts.”
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