U.S. Supreme Court Allows Florida’s Water Case to Proceed Against Georgia
The United States Supreme Court today granted the State of Florida’s motion for leave to file a Complaint against the State of Georgia seeking an equitable apportionment of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River system which transects Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. Attorneys Don Blankenau and Tom Wilmoth have represented Florida since 2002 and helped prepare Florida’s case for the Court. An equitable apportionment, heard under the Court’s original jurisdiction, is designed to allocate the waters of the basin based on equitable considerations. Only a handful of such cases ever have been heard by the Court. “This represents a significant step in the Basin, and we are privileged to be a part of the litigation team,” noted Blankenau. Florida seeks to protect the environmental and economic resources of the Apalachicola River and Bay system, including one of the most productive oyster fisheries in the United States, from unchecked upstream consumption. “Georgia has long taken all the water it desires without adequate consideration of the needs of its downstream neighbor; a practice we hope to change,” stated Wilmoth. The case will progress as Florida v. Georgia, No. 142 Original.