Riley asks Bush to deny Ga. governor's request for disaster declaration
MONTGOMERY (AP) — Gov. Bob Riley sent a letter Monday to President Bush urging him
to deny a request by Georgia's governor for a disaster declaration.
The Alabama governor said such a declaration would put people and jobs in Alabama at risk.
Riley said in the letter that Georgia's request that the president order less water be released from Lake Lanier "would be a radical step that would ignore the vital downstream interests of Alabama."
In the letter, Riley said he understands the needs of Atlanta residents, but said the state can't stand by and let Georgia take control of the reservoir's water to the detriment of Alabamians who live and work downstream.
Riley said a reduced flow could force a shutdown of the Farley Nuclear Plant, as well
as industrial plants that use water from the Chattahoochee River.
Riley said Georgia has "overstated the severity of the crisis in the Atlanta region."
He said the Army Corps of Engineers said last week that, at the current release levels, there is enough water for more than 260 days, not less than 90 as Georgia has claimed.
Riley noted that the estimate assumes no rainfall in that period, which Riley said is unlikely since the region is entering a rainy season.
The governor said it is clear that careful management of the region's water is necessary during the unprecedented drought, but he said he does not believe Alabama should suffer more than its fair share.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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