U.S. Army Corps Rejects Senators’ Request for Water Releases

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rejected lawmakers’ request to increase the flow of water from a major tributary to the Mississippi River, where declining water levels are jeopardizing about $7 billion in cargo.

“The Corps lacks authority” to adjust flows from the Missouri River to benefit navigation on the Mississippi, Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Army’s assistant secretary for civil works, said in a letter to Senator Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, which was made public today.

Releasing water from reservoirs on the Missouri River would put at risk water supplies in the upper Midwest, according to the letter. Rain that is forecast and expedited removal of rock formations are expected to keep the Mississippi River navigable, according to the letter.

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