cloudy
Sunday August 30th, 2015 3:53AM

EPD Chief says next chapter in water war could unfold by Oct.

By B.J. Williams News Director
GAINESVILLE - Georgia's Environmental Protection Division Director was in Gainesville Thursday, telling local business leaders that while the water war is not completely over, the state has won a number of battles recently.

Jud Turner was in Gainesville to speak to the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors at their monthly meeting.

Turner told the group that most litigation over the water in the Apalachicola -Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin has been resolved, but the federal lawsuit filed by Florida against Georgia is still awaiting a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court. Turner said justices are awaiting a decision from the U.S. Solicitor General on whether they should even hear the case.

In the suit, Florida claims that Georgia has unfairly withheld water from the Chattahoochee River and the Apalachicola Bay has suffered, specifically causing damage to Florida's oyster industry.

Turner said if the Solicitor General decides the case has merit, the high court could hear it as early as October.

"If we end up with a case that goes to the Supreme Court on the merits, it could take four, five, six, seven, eight more years," said Turner.

What's important to water usage right now, though, said Turner is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' drafting of new water control manuals. He said if water control manuals had been properly written in the first place, then the fighting over water rights might never have happened.

"What we should have done for the past 30 years is update these data sets and water control manuals and then decide how much water is available for people for drinking water," said Turner.

Those new manuals should be ready by the summer of 2015 if the Corps completes the process as promised.

"They were on a three-year commitment, so that's next year," said Turner.

Turner also noted that water supply is substantial now, so that may keep water needs from being top-of-mind for the public.

"It helps that it's raining right now," said Turner. "Frankly, they're getting inundated with water in Apalachicola Bay right now."

Still, he said, the EPD can't put water issues on the back burner.

"You've always gotta work when it's raining to be prepared from when it's not."




© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
US stocks post sixth straight year of gains
U.S. stocks ended a strong 2014 with moderate declines Wednesday.
4:43PM ( 7 months ago )
Palestinians push ahead in pursuit of war crimes charges against Israel
Stung by a resounding defeat in the U.N. Security Council, the Palestinians announced Wednesday that they joined the International Criminal Court to pursue war crimes charges against Israel.
1:57PM ( 7 months ago )
Business News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 7 months ago )
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 7 months ago )
Sheriff: Man shot 2 on I-85 because he wanted car
A 22-year-old man shot two people who stopped to give him a ride on Interstate 85 in South Carolina on Christmas Eve because he wanted their car to drive to Georgia, a sheriff said Wednesday.
5:21PM ( 7 months ago )
Local/State News
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 7 months ago )
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 7 months ago )
Conviction of Putin foe sets off protest in Moscow
President Vladimir Putin's chief political foe was convicted along with his brother on Tuesday in a fraud case widely seen as a vendetta by the Kremlin, triggering one of Russia's boldest anti-government demonstrations in years.
6:03PM ( 7 months ago )
Politics
Falcons sign Julio Jones to 5-year extension
The Atlanta Falcons agreed to a $71.25 million, five-year contract extension with Julio Jones on Saturday that compares favorably with recent deals paid to other top wide receivers.
By The Associated Press
8:46AM ( 4 hours from now )
Gainesville not immune to aftermath of Katrina
The Gainesville area was not immune to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina which devastated the Gulf Coast ten years ago.
12:01AM ( 3 hours ago )
A man has been sentenced to six years in prison for shooting his stepfather in the eye with a flare gun.
The Athens Banner-Herald (http://bit.ly/1JpkxSX ) reported Saturday that 32-year-old Derek Joseph Wardlaw pleaded guilty to shooting his stepfather.
8:20PM ( 7 hours ago )
Qualifying begins Mon. for city elections
Qualifying begins Monday for city elections across the state, with most of the attention in Hall County centered on the Gainesville election.
1:00PM ( 14 hours ago )