MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The state of Alabama filed suit over a plan it said will harm water quality by keeping additional water in a Georgia lake for recreational use, the latest move in a long-running dispute over shared river resources.
Gov. Robert Bentley's administration said the suit, filed with a federal court in Washington, asked a judge to block the U.S. Corps of Engineers from implementing a new water control plan for the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa river basin.
The lawsuit contends the manual outlining the plan will keep water in Lake Allatoona northwest of Atlanta to help boaters and other recreational users in the fall at the expense of Alabama, which is downstream on the Coosa River.
Water quality will suffer in Alabama because less water is moving downstream, according to the suit.
"The flow of water through the ACT Basin is vital to the economy and environment of Alabama," Bentley said in a statement Thursday. "Our state has protected the historical water flow through the ACT Basin for decades. I filed this challenge because we believe the manual is illegal and unfair."
The corps declined comment Friday on the lawsuit, but the agency previously said the plan complies with all laws and provided the region's first comprehensive drought plan.
The plan was developed in conjunction with Alabama Power Co., which operates dams, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the corps said.
Alabama, Georgia and Florida have been negotiating and fighting in court for years over use of their shared water resources. Alabama and Florida have argued that water is wrongfully being diverted to benefit the fast-growing metro Atlanta area.