ATLANTA — A judge has ruled that a federal agency doesn’t have to revise its plans for how it operates dams along the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers.
It's another win for Georgia in its struggles with Florida and Alabama over the water that flows into the Apalachicola River.
Environmental groups and the state of Alabama sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2017.
They said the agency’s plans held too much water in reservoirs in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint basin.
It’s the second win for Georgia after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Florida’s effort this spring to cap how much water Georgia could use.
Back in April, the court rejected Florida’s claim that Georgia uses too much of the water that flows from the Atlanta suburbs to the Gulf of Mexico.
Florida says that its neighbor’s overconsumption is to blame for the decimation of the state’s oyster industry. Justice Amy Coney Barrett wrote for the court that Florida failed to prove its case.
The justices dismissed Florida’s lawsuit, which had been before the court twice in the past three years.
In a joint statement, in April, Gov. Brian Kemp and Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, the governor called the ruling a "resounding victory" for Georgia and a "vindication of years-long effort."
"The Supreme Court of the United States, in a unanimous decision, affirmed what we have long known to be true: Georgia’s water use has been fair and reasonable,” Carr said.
"Our state will continue to wisely manage water resources and prioritize conservation, while also protecting Georgia’s economy and access to water," Kemp echoed.
Some or all of the plaintiffs could appeal to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.