A letter between a couple of the primaries in the Missouri River discussion recommends dropping river levels so low that barge traffic could be shut down this summer. But, Missouri officials insist they already have an agreement to keep that from happening. A letter dated November 15th from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to the Army Corps of Engineers recommends a low summer flow this coming summer on the Missouri, the so-called “Spring Rise” that would release greater flows in the spring and much lower releases in the summer. State officials have fought against such a proposal, saying it would devastate the navigation industry in Missouri. Joe Bindbeutel with Missouri’s Attorney General office says the state already has an agreement with the Corps not to implement such a proposal and he doesn’t think comments from what he calls a “fairly minor technical staff member” from Fish and Wildlife should change that. And Bindbeutel says if it winds up the Corps does deviate from the Master Manual as it now stands, the Attorney General will sue, a threat that has been made before. Corps officials say they’re considering many different aspects in putting together next year’s operating plan for the Missouri River.
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