The Army Corps of Engineers is reviewing proposals today to improve the navigation and ecosystem on the upper Mississippi River. The Corps is nearing the completion of its decade-old study on the river’s navigation. Mark Muller with the Twin Cities-based Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy says he question’s the corps’ approach. Muller says “The concern has been that the National Academy of Science has said twice now that we need to review these other opportunities and the corps just seems to be ignoring that. That is a slap in the face and seems to be going against sound science.” The Corps seems to favor a two-point-three billion dollar plan that would update the current system and add as many as 12 new locks. The corps’ Ron Fournier says while input from today’s meeting will be taken seriously, ultimately it’s the agency’s decision. Fournier says “We’re the ones responsible for this draft plan and recommendation. We will have the final decision on what goes into that final recommendation.” They will not officially endorse a plan until May when they hold a series of public meetings from Minnesota to Missouri. The final report to Congress is due by the end of the year.
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