Statement by Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell Regarding the U.S. Army Corps Recent Amended Decision on Operation of Alabama River Locks
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D-AL) released the following statement regarding the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recent amended decision on the operation of the Alabama River locks:
“My office has been working closely with the U.S. Army of Corps Engineers and stakeholders in developing a workable solution to the operational issues surrounding the Alabama River locks. I am encouraged by today’s amended decision of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to modify the lock hours of operation on the Alabama and Chattahoochee River systems beginning February 1, 2013. This amended decision is an important step forward in addressing the concerns of constituents and stakeholders in light of the fiscal challenges facing the U.S. Army Corps.
While the amended decision is not perfect, I believe it represents a reasonable compromise and reflects recognition of the public outcry concerning the importance of the Alabama River and other waterways throughout the state. This decision provides certainty to those using these waterways for economic and recreational purposes, while still adhering to the budgetary constraints of the U.S. Army Corps.
The Alabama River plays an important role in the transportation of goods throughout the Black Belt region, specifically for communities such as Wilcox County who depend heavily on this economic resource. If the U.S. Army Corps had stood by their original reduction initiative, it would have had a profound economic impact on my district and the state of Alabama.
This Friday, I am touring the Alabama River with top Corp officials to learn more about the River’s lockage system and dredging challenges. We must continue to work together to ensure that both our rural and urban communities have the resources and services they need to strengthen economic development, create jobs and improve quality of life for families and workers. Promoting economic growth and job creation for the 7th Congressional District and communities across the state remain my top priority.”
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