Missouri River group argues against water releases - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Missouri River group argues against water releases

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began reducing releases at Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD on Nov. 23 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began reducing releases at Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD on Nov. 23
SIOUX FALLS, SD (KTIV) -

Members of the congressional delegations from the Dakotas, Kansas and Montana are urging President Barack Obama to deny requests to aid Mississippi River navigation by authorizing additional water releases from Missouri River dams.

South Dakota Sen. John Thune says the group sent a letter Friday to Obama, Assistant Secretary of the Army Jo-Ellen Darcy and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate. The letter was signed by members of Congress from the four states as well as by the governors of North Dakota, South Dakota and Kansas.

Lawmakers from Mississippi River states want more water releases from the Missouri River dams to help barge traffic. Thune and his group say that would harm people and businesses in their states.

On November 23, the Army Corps of Engineers began reducing releases from Gavins Point Dam near Yankton to protect recreation and hydropower on the Missouri after a summer of drought.

In a separate letter to President Barack Obama, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer said sending more water down the Missouri would be a "knee-jerk, illegal reaction" to the problems on the Mississippi.  He said such a move would undermine the army corps as it manages the river for the long-term.

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