Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Atlanta Mayor Franklin, Commissioner Hunter Attend Tri-State Water Hearing

Mayor Shirley Franklin and Commissioner Robert Hunter were in Jacksonville, Fla., yesterday to attend a four-hour hearing on challenges by Alabama and Florida over use of Chattahoochee River water. Judge Paul Magnuson, a U.S. District Court Judge in Minnesota who has presided over a number of water-related lawsuits, has said that he will not immediately rule on the issue, which has fed a decades-long “water war” between Georgia, Alabama and Florida.

During the hearing, attorneys for the State of Georgia argued that legislation creating Lake Lanier clearly envisioned the lake as a water resource for the Atlanta area.

“As Mayor of the City of Atlanta – a City that operates a water and sewer system that serves over 1.2 million Georgians – I believe the vast majority of Georgians, Floridians and Alabamans want a negotiated resolution that protects everyone’s interests rather than a court-imposed mandate with a winner-take-all mandate,” Mayor Franklin said. “Through its undertaking of the $4 billion Clean Water Atlanta Program, Atlanta has shown itself to be acutely conscious of the necessity for protecting the river. Our residents have taxed themselves to fund the infrastructure improvements that will ensure that protection.”

“Atlanta continues to demonstrate its commitment to effective water resource management by our massive investment in our drinking water and wastewater systems,” Commissioner Hunter noted. “ Effective leadership and proper stewardship of water resources is essential to the future of the entire Metro Atlanta region.”
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