Florida Pulls Out of Water Wars

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Florida is backing away from a temporary truce to settle a long-standing water war with Georgia and Alabama.

Florida's environmental protection chief says in a letter to federal officials that the state opposes an arrangement announced in Washington last week. The truce involved the Army Corps of Engineers cutting river flows into Florida and Alabama to capture more water for Georgia. The letter says the plan would ``starve the Apalachicola River and Bay of freshwater flows needed to keep the ecosystems, species and economy alive.''

Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has said that the cuts will be implemented as the governors work toward a longer-term deal. And
Governor Charlie Crist called the truce at the time ``a great understanding.''

But he has since come under heavy criticism from the fishing industry, local leaders and environmentalists.

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