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Watchdogs Call Mississippi River Plan Harmful

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By Bill Raack, KWMU

St. Louis – A new study by two environmental watchdog groups is calling the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' plans for the upper Mississippi River wasteful and harmful.

The National Wildlife Federation and "Taxpayers for Common Sense" say the Corps will recommend moving forward with the expansion of locks between St. Louis and St. Paul, Minnesota.

Kate Costenbader is with the Wildlife Federation.

"On this project, as in some many other inland navigation projects, the Corps is proposing to spend billions of dollars on structural improvements for barge traffic that simply does not exist," Costenbader said. "The Corps is wildly optimistic about future barge traffic, even though history has proved them wrong time and time again."

A spokesperson for the Corps of Engineers says no decisions on the upper Mississippi plan have been made yet.

A draft report is expected next month.

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