2 years ago by Denise Donley
The extreme drought has had major economic impacts
Due to the extreme drought of 2012 and the major economic impacts from lower water levels on the Mississippi River, State Representative Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) successfully passed legislation urging President Obama and the Army Corps of Engineers to reevaluate proposals that will further lower water levels on the Mississippi River.
Senate Joint Resolution 80 urges the President to “take emergency action to ensure water levels do not fall below a level needed by commercial navigation on the Mississippi River…to avert potential economic disaster on this vital avenue that American farmers use to get their goods into the world market.”
SJR 80 also urges the Army Corps of Engineers fully implement alternative emergency measures, such as dredging and the removal of rock pinnacles, to remedy low water levels on the Mississippi River in order to ensure barge traffic can continue to ship needed commodities.
“The importance of the Mississippi River to our state and national economy cannot be overstated,” said Rep. Tracy. “Because of the drought, water levels on the River are already low, but the Army Corps of Engineers has also stopped the release of water from reservoirs on the Missouri River. This only exasperates the problem in the southern portion of the Mississippi River, which will likely lead to barge traffic restrictions and possibly even the closure of the channel to commerce traffic. In Illinois, we depend on the river to ship our grain and coal, and a closure of this transportation network would be devastating to our economy.”
Senate Joint Resolution 80 has been adopted by both chambers of the General Assembly.