Southeast
David Pendered / Saporta Report

USA - Endless Litigation Over Chattahoochee River, No Matter Who Wins Water War

The Supreme Court is slated to hear oral arguments next week in the relentless case of Florida seeking more water from Georgia for Apalachicola Bay.

No matter who wins, it won’t be the end of litigation over the major river system in metro Atlanta – the Chattahoochee River.

Two pending cases that are unrelated to the one before the Supreme Court indicate the never-ending nature of arguments over the Chattahoochee River and its adjacent lands:

  • The City of Columbus has filed an administrative appeal of a ruling by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. EPD ordered Columbus to reduce the amount of untreated waste it dumps into the Chattahoochee River. A hearing date has not been set.
  • Green Rock, LLC has filed a lawsuit intended to allow the company to develop a quarry on the western bank of the Chattahoochee River. The Carroll County Board of Commissioners responded to citizen protests of the proposed quarry by changing the site’s zoning to a category that doesn’t allow quarries. Green Rock has contested the commissioners’ action in a lawsuit filed Dec. 18, 2020 in Carroll County Superior Court. A hearing date has not been set.

Meanwhile, on Feb. 22 the Supreme Court is to hear Florida’s argument that the court should decline to rule in favor of Georgia in the amount of water released from Georgia into Florida. Such a ruling was the recommendation of the special master appointed by the Supreme Court to review the matter. Florida filed the original case on Nov. 11, 2014.

Georgia contends it is a responsible steward of waters in the state and that Florida itself has done things that harm the oyster population.

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