Congressman Collins on Lake Hartwell Issues

June 21, 2013

By Charlie Bauder, WNEG Radio, Toccoa

 

Even though water levels are back up due to recent rains, 9th District US Representative Doug Collins says that work continues on improving management of the upper Savannah River.

Back in March, Collins announced he was the chair of a newly formed corps of engineers working group.

He said at the time, his goal for Georgia is to get the corps to develop a better water management plan for the upper Savannah River.

A couple of months later, Collins says that they have had meetings with both the corps of engineers and the different stakeholders around Lake Hartwell.

Collins says he is happy with the discussions that have taken place so far.

“I am pleased,” said Collins. “Is it everything that I want? I could say I want a full pool all the time. I think we all would, but I think there are issues that we have to deal with. We have got to get to the understanding first on the water management plans. We also have to do a better job of communicating with the public. I think we have a good start there.”

According to Collins; they are now following up on what came out of the meetings with the corps and the stakeholders.

The Hall County republican goes on to say that no policy recommendations are imminent as a lot of work remains.

“Especially on the Savannah River basin side, there is no, I do not think, legislative fix at this point,” said Collins. “I think we have to say ‘Here is where the problem is, why these different factors are affecting water levels and water flows?’ There are many factors that go into it all the way down to the port.”

Collins says that the corps of engineers has been fairly receptive to the work he and others have been undertaking regarding this issue.

“The Corps understands exactly what I am talking about,” said Collins. “They understand exactly why I am concerned about it and why our folks in the 9th District are concerned about it.”

Collins says his office continues to work closely with South Carolina legislators on the issue, especially representative Jeff Duncan.

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