U.S. Senators Roy Blunt and Tom Harkin joined their Senate colleagues in sending a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers calling on them to take immediate action to prevent the scheduled reduction in water releases from the Missouri River.
The lawmakers also asked the Corps to remove impediments to navigation by demolishing rock pinnacles that cause navigation difficulties when the water is low. These difficulties will lead to a crisis on the Mississippi River, limiting navigation due to low water conditions.
“We are requesting immediate action to prevent an impending disruption to inland waterways navigation caused in large part by the 2012 drought particularly in the Missouri River Basin,” the Senators wrote. “The Mississippi River is vital to commerce for agriculture and many other goods, including our ability to export our goods. If the river channel is not maintained, there will be a loss of jobs, income to many businesses and farmers, and an adverse impact to the economy of the region as a whole.”
U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), John Boozman (Ark.), Thad Cochran (Miss.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), Al Franken (Minn.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), David Vitter (La.) and Roger Wicker (Miss.) also signed the letter.
Dredging Today Staff, November 19, 2012