Dave Williams Staff Writer Atlanta Business Chronicle
New plan not final word in water wars
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is extending the public comment period on its new water-sharing plan for the Chattahoochee River basin.
The agency announced Friday it is giving interested parties an additional 45 days to respond to the draft proposal. The new deadline for comment is Jan. 15.
“We have received several requests from various stakeholders throughout the basin to extend the public comment period to allow them an opportunity to completely review the documents prior to providing comments,” Corp spokesman Patrick Robbins said.
Atlanta business leaders welcomed the release of the plan at the end of September as justifying Georgia’s position in a long-running legal dispute with Florida and Alabama over water allocations from the Chattahoochee system. Specifically, the plan asserts that water utilities in metro Atlanta could withdraw enough water from Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee River to meet projected population increases in the coming decades without harming Florida’s environmentally fragile oyster industry.
Because the draft plan runs more than 4,200 pages, interested groups including Chattahoochee Riverkeeper asked for more time to review it before giving the Corps their views.
Dave Williams covers Government