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Fla. lawmakers call for river system study

POSTED: April 3, 2009 12:49 a.m.

Two Florida lawmakers have reintroduced federal legislation calling for a study of the water management, needs and conservation along the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River System. Lake Lanier is the largest reservoir on the river system.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd, both Democrats, authored the bill that would require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to enter into an agreement with the National Research Council of the National Academies to conduct a basinwide assessment of the ACF system.

The reintroduction of the bill coincides with a workshop being held today by the council about the ACF system in Washington.

Nelson and Boyd pushed for the workshop as a way to bring local stakeholders, scientific experts and state and federal officials together to discuss the ACF system. Among those attending are Kelly Randall, director of the Gainesville Public Works department, Georgia Environmental Protection Division Director Carol Couch and a representative from the office of U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Gainesville.

“The issue here is protecting the interests of the residents in each of the three states involved in a dispute over water,” Nelson said.

“This study hopefully would give policymakers some impartial evidence on which to base an equitable long-term solution to the dispute.”

Several members of the Florida congressional delegation are co-sponsoring the bill.



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