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Public Meeting on River Held Monday Night

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis, Mo. – The Army Corps of Engineers is seeking comments from the public on improvement plans for the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.

They're presenting six proposals to improve navigation-ranging from doing nothing to spending $2.3 billion on locks and dams.

The Corps's Denny Lundberg says the environment is also an important consideration.

"There are certainly aspects of the system that have improved like water quality, as we all know. But there are also aspects like habitat diversity that have declined, and those are the areas that we've focused on, and tried to improve," Lundberg said.

Lundberg says the most extensive of five environmental plans has a price tag of $8.4 billion.

The Corps is holding its first public comment hearing this evening at the Spazio Westport Conference Center in St. Louis.

In 2000, the Corps scrapped a navigation-only plan after a whistleblower raised financial objections.

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