Ed Whitfield new 300FRANKFORT, Ky. (4/13/13) – U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, (KY-01), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, today joined with his colleagues in the House of Representatives and counterparts in the Senate to call on the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works to stop the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) from installing permanent barriers along Cumberland River dams. Those signing the letter include Senators Lamar Alexander, Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell and Bob Corker, along with Representatives Hal Rogers (KY–05), Diane Black (TN–06), Stephen Fincher (TN-08), Marsha Blackburn (TN-07) and Andy Barr (KY-06).
 
“We are writing to urge you to take immediate action to delay the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ efforts to restrict public access to fishing areas below Corps dams on the Cumberland River system in Kentucky and Tennessee,” stated the Senators and Representatives in their letter. “We also continue to press for passage of the Freedom to Fish Act, which has been introduced in the House of Representatives and in the United States Senate.”
 
The Senators and Representatives go on to encourage the exploration of alternatives to permanent restrictions of the tailwaters.
 
The letter continues, “We all understand the importance of improving boater safety, and we have asked the Corps to explore alternatives – such as signs, sirens and lights – and to work with state wildlife agencies in Kentucky and Tennessee to improve safety. We hope that the Corps will work with the state wildlife agencies to develop a sensible plan to promote public safety when water is spilling through the dam, not unilaterally prohibit access to some of the highest quality fishing areas in our states.”
 
Whitfield has been an outspoken critic of the Corps’ plan. Below is a timeline of Whitfield’s work on this issue.
 
December 20, 2012: Whitfield participates in conference call with County Judges White and Lasher, and Lt. Colonel DeLapp, Commander of the Nashville district of the USACE, to request that DeLapp consider all options to increase public safety. Whitfield also requests that the Corps allow public input before the barriers are constructed.
 
December 21, 2012: Whitfield sends a letter to Lt. General Thomas Bostick, Commanding General and Chief of Engineers for the USACE to relay Judges White and Lasher’s concerns regarding permanent barriers.
 
January 10, 2013: Whitfield attends a public meeting with nearly 200 other people hosted by USACE in Grand Rivers to seek public input regarding the proposed barriers.
 
February 5, 2013: Whitfield meets with Major General Michael Walsh to further discuss restrictions and to urge USACE to re-examine the decision to permanently restrict boating access to the tailwaters. Senator Lamar Alexander and Rep. Jim Cooper also attend. Whitfield and the county judges offer a compromise to restrict the tailwater zone only at times when the dam is operating.
 
February 15, 2013: Whitfield publicly demands that the USACE come up with an alternative to a permanent blockade along Cumberland River dams. Whitfield also releases a discussion draft of a bill that would require an environmental assessment study prior to taking any action to establish permanent blockades.
 
February 26, 2013: Realizing that the USACE is unwilling to settle for a reasonable alternative, Whitfield introduces H.R. 826, The Freedom to Fish Act to prevent the USACE from permanently restricting the tailwater areas and the installment of permanent blockades.
 
March 4, 2013: Whitfield and Senator Alexander meet with Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary for the Army for Civil Works. Whitfield asks Assistant Secretary Darcy to consider a compromise to restrict the tailwater zone only when the dam is operating, and you ask that she suspend implementation of the restricted areas and solicitation of public bids to build the buoy-line barricades due to sequestration. Whitfield and Senator Alexander also present her with a letter on the same topic.
 
March 29, 2013: Whitfield authors an opinion-editorial vowing to continue fighting against the installation of permanent barriers along Cumberland River dams. He encourages Kentuckians to contact the Nashville District of the Corps at 615-736-7161 to tell them to stop with the intrusive assault on the Commonwealth’s fishermen.
 
April 1, 2013: Whitfield sends a letter to Lieutenant Colonel James DeLapp of the Nashville District of the Corps to request the information that was used by the Corps to determine that the permanent barricades were necessary and would increase public safety. Given the rushed nature in which the Corps has proceeded with the construction of permanent blockades, Whitfield requests a response within five business days.
 
Arpil 5, 2013: The Nashville District of the Corps provides an interim response to Whitfield stating that it will take 6 months for them to fulfill Whitfield’s request for information.
 
April 10, 2013: Whitfield publicly questions why it would take the Corps so long to provide the documentation that seemingly would have been used for them to make their decision to install the permanent barricades.
 
SurfKY News
Information provided by Chris Pack
Photo provided by SurfKY Graphics

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

MCCH Wellness Works to Offer Free Screenings in May

MURRAY, KY. (4/25/15) — Murray-Calloway County Hospital’s Wellness Works program will be offering free community health… Read More

38th Annual Special Populations Fishing Tournament to be Held at Honker Lake

KENTUCKY (4/26/15) — Kentucky Lake Bass Club and the Knights of Columbus of Aurora will sponsor the 38th Annual Special… Read More
1 DOW 18,080.14
+21.45 (0.12%)    
2 S&P 2,117.69
+4.76 (0.23%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,092.08
+36.02 (0.71%)    

Most Read This Week

April 17, 2015 12386

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 23, 2015 7642

Man Charged with Sodomy, Incest/Victim under 12

by SurfKY News
April 18, 2015 5819

Man Charged with Attempting to Coerce Minor for…

by Madisonville Police Department
April 20, 2015 4934

Nortonville Woman Charged with Meth Possession at…

by Madisonville Police Department
April 24, 2015 4236

UPDATE: Police Can't Substantiate Injured Man…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

April 17, 2015 12386

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 02, 2015 8845

UPDATE: Madisonville Man Injured in Head-on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

April 25, 2015 1306

Above and Beyond: Wade Simons

by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
April 24, 2015 1027

Elementary Girls in Good GRACES with Unique…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
April 25, 2015 922

Planning Commission Approves Zoning Amendments…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
April 25, 2015 875

Superheroes ‘Bowl for Kids Sake’

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
April 25, 2015 754

Focus on Hopkins County: Interview with Sheriff…

by Tim Thomas
April 25, 2015 750

Webster County Traffic Advisory

by Keith Todd
April 26, 2015 701

New Drug Helps Farmer with Parkinson's Return to…

by Laura Dawahare
April 25, 2015 666

Tobacco Quitline Callers Eligible for Extra…

by Beth Fisher
April 25, 2015 616

Happenings and Meetings - Hopkins County

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
April 25, 2015 610

Keeping the Faith - 'To Die Trying'

by Ronnie McBrayer