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Lawsuit Claims Army Corps Hasn't Properly Evaluated Impact Of Water Flow To Apalachicola River

Plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit in Georgia’s Northern District say they’re seeking to "prevent the collapse of the Apalachicola ecosystem in Florida."

The suit alleges the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers didn’t perform essential duties related to its management of dams and reservoirs in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin. Specifically, it alleges a 2017 report from the Army Corps called an environmental impact statement was inadequate. Tania Galloni is managing attorney for Eathjustice Florida, one of the groups that filed the complaint.

"The Army Corps issued what’s called this Water Control Manual that dictates how water will be managed through the system," Galloni said. "And so, they were required to assess what’s the environmental impact going to be of this major decision that (they're) undertaking, and are there alternatives that would better serve all the purposes that they need to consider including the health of this ecosystem?"

The Army Corps controls a series of dams, deciding how much water stays upstream, and how much flows into the Apalachicola River and bay. The suit was originally filed in 2017, in a federal district court in Washington, D.C., but was later moved to Georgia court.

This is a separate lawsuit from the well-known Florida-Georgia water wars.