Augusta joins lawsuit against Army Corps of Engineers over lock and dam

Augusta-Richmond County is joining with South Carolina after filing a lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers. (Source: WRDW)
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Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Augusta-Richmond County is joining with South Carolina after filing a lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers over its plan to replace the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam.

We've been hearing from Augusta commissioners since early November, when South Carolina filed their lawsuit against the Corps, that leaders would be taking action of their own. Now, they have filed a motion to intervene, which means they're piggy-backing off the South Carolina suit.

Augusta-Richmond County leaders say the Corps' is breaking federal law, specifically the WIIN Act, by following its plan put forth in October. The Corps plan would get rid of the lock and dam altogether and build a rock weir instead.

Many say the issue with that plan is it could leave the Savannah River pool in mud. That's what happened during a February test of the Corps' plan. By joining this lawsuit, commissioners say they are trying to protect Augusta's economy and local interests.

The Corps has offered other options to preserve water levels, but it involves local governments to pitch in money. Leaders on both sides of the river tell us say they aren't willing to do that. They instead want the issue solved in court.

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