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Florida, Alabama senators wade into river battle

In a move that could help boost recovery of troubled Apalachicola Bay, U.S. senators from Florida and Alabama have asked a Senate panel to intervene in what they call "the Army Corps of Engineers' ongoing mismanagement" of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., were joined this week by Alabama Republicans Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby in signing a letter to the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. They urged that the panel include language in an appropriations bill to protect users of the river basin in Florida and Alabama from disproportionate water use by Georgia.
They wrote that they wanted "to ensure that management of the river basin is not left to the whims of an unaccountable federal bureaucracy, but instead is properly determined and agreed upon by each state's governor."

The four senators hope to override the Corps' control of water levels in the system. They're modeling their proposal on language protecting the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa river basin already contained in the Senate panel's water and energy appropriations bill.

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