Florida Threatens To Sue Feds In Water Wars

WASHINGTON – Florida officials are warning that they may sue he U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

At issue are claims the corps is violating the federal Endangered Species Act with drought plans to continue limiting downstream flows of water from reservoirs in northern Georgia into the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin.

“The Corps’ operations continue to jeopardize the threatened Gulf sturgeon, endangered fat threeridge and threatened purple backclimber,” warns a 60-day Notice of Intent to sue letter, signed by Michael Sole, secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Although the Fish and Wildlife Service has condoned the plan, the state says the services findings can’t be squared with the facts.

Under the plan, the state claims the Apalachicola River levels will reach unprecedented lows. That will expose various populations of threatened and endangered mussels and preclude their chance from ever recovering, the state says.

“In sum, the Corps has committed both procedural and substantive violations of the (Endangered Species Act). The purpose of this letter is to put the Corps on notices of those violations and provide it with an opportunity to take corrective measures,” the letter concludes.

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