WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Neal Dunn, M.D. (FL-02) released the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in the Florida v. Georgia “water wars” case:
“Today is a great day for North Florida and the future of the Apalachicola River and Bay. It’s clear – our fisheries, our economy, and our environment have been devastated over the years by Georgia’s unrestrained water use. The Supreme Court made the right decision today in recognizing that Florida has been harmed as a result of decreased water flow to the ACF River Basin. Now it’s time for the Special Master and Army Corps of Engineers to come up with an equitable solution. I will continue to fight for our River Basin and all those who rely on the water to make their livelihood.”
The Supreme Court directed the Special Master to work with the Army Corps of Engineers to proceed toward an equitable apportionment of the basin’s waters, stating that, “Florida made a sufficient showing that the extra water that would result from its proposed consumption cap would both lead to increased streamflow in Florida’s Apalachicola River and significantly redress the economic and ecological harm that Florida has alleged.”
In a February 2017 report, the Special Master appointed by the Supreme Court determined that Florida has been harmed by upstream water usage in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin. “There is little question that Florida has suffered harm from decreased flows in the River,” the Special Master’s report said. “Florida experienced an unprecedented collapse of its oyster fisheries in 2012.”
Congressman Dunn has been working from his first days in Congress to seek an equitable solution for the communities along the Apalachicola River and Bay. In February of 2017, Dr. Dunn questioned the Corps of Engineers about the ACF River Basin. He also led a letter, signed by the entire Florida House delegation, to the Corps calling for it to halt implementation of the Water Control Manual immediately and meet with stakeholders. In July of 2017, Dr. Dunn led a letter, signed by the entire Florida House delegation, urging President Trump to ensure the Corps takes a neutral role and refrains from intervening in Florida v. Georgia.
Additionally, Dr. Dunn has introduced legislation, as well as an amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations bill, to halt the implementation of the Corps of Engineers revised Master Water Control Manual for the ACF River Basin.