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Court Ruling Favors Downstream Missouri River States

Corps of Engineers photo of the Missouri River


Pierre, SD – A federal appeals court sided with Missouri and other downstream states on the Missouri River Wednesday.

The panel said judges in the Dakotas were wrong to order the Corps of Engineers to hold water in some reservoirs there. Those states had said they needed the water to preserve fishing and recreation.

But downstream states argued such a move would hurt barge traffic between Sioux City, Iowa and St. Louis. The upstream states haven't said whether they'll appeal.

The panel of the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also upheld a federal judge's ruling in a Nebraska case. It requires the corps to follow its Master Manual for operating the river.

That ruling required the corps to maintain
flows for barge traffic last year on the drought-stricken river below the reservoirs, from Sioux City, Iowa, to St. Louis.

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