North Augusta Mayor speaks on lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers

North Augusta Mayor speaks on lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers

NORTH AUGUSTA, SC (WFXG) - South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced his office is filling a lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to prevent the destruction of the Lock and Dam.

Attorney General Wilson says the Corps’ decision ignores the state and harms it’s citizens. He says the law suit will serve as an attempt to protect the rule of the law and integrity of the state’s environment.

The state is fighting back with a 54 page lawsuit that has several key issues highlighted. First being the interpretation of the WIIN Act of 2016 which states, the pool is to be maintained for navigation, water supply, and recreational activities, as in existence on the date of enactment of this act.

“And that meant not some level to be determined at the corps own discretion it meant 114 5 as a general average,” said North Augusta Mayor Bob Petitt.

Mayor Pettit says the lawsuit refers to back to a settlement agreement between several agencies including the state and the Army Corps of Engineers. He says the settlement says an approved fish passage must be constructed prior to inner harbor dredging.

“The corps of engineers in this case have violated the settlement agreement by proceeding with inner harbor dredging before construction has started here.”

The lawsuit also includes pictures of the results from the stimulation done by the corps back in February. Mayor Petitt says it showed the pool did not maintain.

"You know the homes are far away from the water, the docks are sitting on dry land, the boats you’d have to some how get them out to the water and you could never get the back to your dock.”

The mayor has confidence in the evidence presented in the lawsuit. He says South Carolina residents should have hope that the lock and dam will remain. Augusta city leaders told FOX 54 they are discussing a possible lawsuit from the Georgia side of the river.

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