From: The News Service of Florida
With backing from a dozen other members of Florida’s U.S. House delegation, Congressman Neal Dunn announced Tuesday he has filed a resolution seeking to block the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from using a water-control plan impacting the Apalachicola Bay region. “This crisis and the fight for our right to river water goes back many years, but the challenge is urgent for us today,” Dunn, a Panama City Republican whose district includes the bay, said in an announcement made in Apalachicola. Dunn’s move came after a U.S. Supreme Court-appointed special master recommended last week that Florida be denied relief in its claim that Georgia’s over-consumption of water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin is harming the ecology and economy of Apalachicola Bay. Dunn’s resolution seeks to block an administrative rule that the Corps is using to implement a revised “master water control manual” for the river basin. “If implemented, this rule would have even more devastating effects on the ecosystem in Apalachicola and the economy in the (2nd Congressional District) than the current water control plan that led to the unprecedented collapse of our oyster fisheries in 2012,” Dunn said. If the resolution passes the U.S. House and Senate and is signed by the president, it will “permanently halt” the Corps’ new water plan for the region while Florida, Georgia and Alabama work “towards an equitable agreement” on water use in the region, Dunn said. U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said Monday that he and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio are sponsoring a similar resolution in the Senate. Other U.S. House members co-sponsoring Dunn’s resolution are Reps. Matt Gaetz, Al Lawson, John Rutherford, Ron DeSantis, Bill Posey, Gus Bilirakis, Dennis Ross, Vern Buchanan, Francis Rooney, Brian Mast, Mario Diaz-Balart and Carlos Curbelo.