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Georgia aims to defend drought plan against Florida's attacks

POSTED: May 17, 2008 5:00 a.m.

The director of the state Environmental Protection Division said Tuesday that the state is readying a response to Florida’s allegations that Georgia is using more than its fair share of water from the Chattahoochee River.

"You betcha we will," said Carol Couch when asked if the state would respond. "We’re in preparation of that response and it will be issued at such time as the governor determines."

She said the state would be emphatic in defending Georgia’s use of water.

Michael Sole, secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, sent a letter last week to both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers condemning a proposal that would limit flows to the Apalachicola River, which begins at the Florida/Georgia border.

Sole criticized the plan that would help Georgia keep more drinking water during dry times in reservoirs such as Lake Lanier, calling the impact "potentially disastrous."

The letter outlined the effects of the plan on Florida’s ecosystem and the oyster industry that’s a large part of the economy in the area where the Apalachicola River empties into Apalachicola Bay.



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