U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., joined with the entire Georgia congressional delegation Tuesday in sending a letter to President Bush urging him to approve Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue’s request to declare a major disaster area in Georgia and utilize the executive power under the Endangered Species Act to exempt the state from complying with water reservoir releases during unprecedented drought conditions.
“I applaud Gov. Perdue for his continued leadership and urge President Bush to take the necessary actions to help our state during this critical time,” Isakson said. “I will continue to work on this crisis every day to fight for a more realistic and fair management of Georgia’s water to ensure that Georgia residents have water for their homes and businesses and to ensure that the threat to our lakes is stopped.”
“Gov. Perdue made exactly the right call, and I commend him for his tenacity on this issue,” said Chambliss.
“Georgians have done their part in working to conserve water, and I urge the president to help us with relief from this unprecedented drought. In this critical time, it is simply the right thing to do.”
The text of the letter, which was signed by Georgia’s entire congressional delegation, is below:
Dear Mr. President:
We are writing in support of Governor Sonny Perdue’s October 20, 2007 request for a major disaster declaration in Georgia as a result of prolonged drought conditions.
The Governor is requesting Public Assistance Categories B, D, and F, including direct Federal assistance, for 85 counties and Hazard Mitigation statewide. The Governor further requested your assistance to implement exemptions to the Endangered Species Act.
Georgia is experiencing the worst drought in our state’s history. The dry, hot weather combined with management of our river systems has left water supplies at a critical level. This drought threatens the drinking water supply and health of our constituents, as well as the economic vitality and stability of our state. We urge you to expeditiously review Governor Perdue’s request and grant this declaration as soon as possible.
We appreciate your attention to this urgent matter, and stand ready to work with you in any way possible.
On Oct. 20, Perdue sent a request to President Bush asking him to temporarily exempt the state of Georgia from the Endangered Species Act to reduce the flows from Georgia reservoirs. In his letter to the president, Perdue outlined the steps that the state has taken to minimize the impact of the drought, and emphasized the increasingly severe threat to Georgia businesses, industry, economic stability and the health and safety of Georgia citizens.