AUGUSTA, GA ( WJBF) — State lawmakers are pushing back against a plan to demolish the Savannah River Lock and Dam.
“The Corps has repeatedly tried to ignore our concerns,” Representative Rick Allen said.
The Army Corps of Engineers wants to replace the lock and dam with a rock weir.
The rock weir would lower the water level which has raised concern for people living in the area and business owners.
“That pool is a tremendous economic provider for our community — recreation and also that pool of water is used by industry in the city of Augusta,” Allen said.
Those concerns led the state of South Carolina and the city of Augusta to file a lawsuit against the Corps.
A judge ruled in favor of those parties and moved the lawsuit to mediation — but recently the Corps filed to end mediation.
That action was met with opposition from lawmakers in Georgia and South Carolina.
“We’re going to fight this until the very end,” Allen said.
Representative Joe Wilson said in a statement: ” I am appalled that the US Army Corps of Engineers would look to formally end mediation on the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam, showing their complete disregard for the will of the affected communities.”
Allen said the ongoing legislation is also hitting the taxpayer’s pockets.
“It would be hard to guess but I’m sure these things can get up to several hundred thousand dollars,” Allen said.
The next step in the legal process would be to file an appeal.