Attorney General Jay Nixon has sent a letter to the United States Army Corps of Engineers in which Nixon claims the Corps has reneged on its promise to keep a deep enough channel in the Missouri River to keep barges afloat. Nixon says the Corps has allowed the Missouri River to drop well below the eight feet minimum needed to keep barges running up and down the Missouri River from St. Joseph to Jefferson City. Nixon says Kansas City will be drastically affected, especially with construction season in full force. He says it will be more costly and difficult to transport asphalt to the western half of the state if barges can’t move on the river. Harvest could also be affected, if barges cannot transport grain and supplies on the Missouri River. Nixon says the Corps has ignored its own Master Manual used to manage flows into the Missouri River. Nixon says the Master Manual requires a minimum level of eight feet be maintained on the Missouri River, except for times of extreme drought. He says though it has been dry in Missouri, conditions don’t meet that standard. Nixon says the barge industry needs a minimum river level of seven-and-a-half feet to operate. The river has dropped close to seven. Nixon has asked that Brigadier General Gregg Martin of the Corps of Engineers respond by the end of the day.
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