We are asking for your help to contact our US Senators and Congressmen; we are asking them to encourage President Obama to use his authority to declare an emergency situation relative to low water levels on the Mississippi River, particulary the area between St. Louis, MO and Cairo, IL. Agriculture and other industries that rely on navigation on the Mississippi River to deliver cargo including fertilizer, grain, coal and petroleum are asking the Obama Administration to direct the US Corps of Engineers to do two things:
1. Release measured, but sufficient, flows from the Missouri River Reservoir dams to maintain a 9 foot navigation channel on the Mississippi River.
2. Waive federal rules in order to expedite the removal of rock pinnacles near Grand Tower and Thebes, IL. These rock formations also threaten navigation in the current low water situation.
Here in Illinois, several of our US Congressman have been very active on this issue. Congressman Aaron Schock (R-Peoria) has worked with many Congressman throughout the US, sending letters to the US Corps of Engineers and to the White House urging action on this issue. Congressman Schock, Johnson, Schilling, Kinzinger, Shimkus, Hultgren and Roskam have also signed on to a letter to Illinois Governor Quinn urging him to ask President Obama to declare this situation an emergency due to the severe economic impact on Illinois. We thank them for their leadership! We are still working to get more Illinois Congressmen on board including Congressman Costello, Manzullo, Biggert, Davis, Lipinski, Dold and Rush. We also need to ensure that Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk hear from you regarding the importance of this issue to our industry and to all of Illinois.
These are unprecendented times with the river at these critical levels. If navigation on the Mississippi cannot be maintained, navigation on the Illinois river for spring fertilizer supplies and grain exports is also curtailed. Thank you for being an active member of the IFCA and participating in our government. If you have questions, please contact Jean Payne at 309.827.2774