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Corps extends public comment time on water manual

POSTED: December 7, 2012 12:46 a.m.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, is extending the public comment period on its updated management document for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin.

The deadline has been moved to Jan. 14 from Wednesday.

"This extension is due to several agencies requesting additional time to submit their analysis and studies to (the corps)," according to a news release issued Thursday.

The process to update the Master Water Control Manual has been in the works for years but was thrown into limbo as the courts went back and forth on authorized uses for Lake Lanier.

The corps first had a public comment, or "scoping," period in 2008 as it began the process to update the manual, which was first developed in 1958, shortly after Lake Lanier was formed.

It had a second scoping period after a 2009 ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Paul Magnuson that severely limited the use of Lanier’s water as a drinking source.

Then in June 2011, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled that water supply was an originally intended authorized use of Lake Lanier, reversing Magnuson’s decision. The U.S. Supreme Court later refused to hear an appeal from Alabama and Florida, which had contested Georgia’s claim to drinking water.

The manual update process will consider operations for all authorized purposes.

It also will take into account "an expanded range of water supply alternatives associated with the Buford Dam/Lake Lanier project, including current levels of water supply withdrawals and additional amounts that Georgia has requested from Lake Lanier and downstream of Atlanta," the news release states.

E. Patrick Robbins, corps spokesman, said that comments previously submitted don’t need to be resubmitted as they "will be reviewed and addressed in the current rescoping."

Comments can be submitted online, emailing them to acf-wcm@usace.army.mil or mailing them to Tetra Tech, Attention: ACF-WCM, 61 St. Joseph St., Suite 550, Mobile, AL 36602-3521.


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