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Stay on lock and dam lawsuit lifted

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The fight over the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam continues, with recent court filings showing where the lawsuit stands.

A stay that effectively paused the lawsuit related to the issue over the lock and dam was officially lifted on Wednesday by the court, following an Oct. 7 conference and a joint report filed Tuesday, Oct. 13.

The stay was granted to allow the parties involved in the case “the opportunity to pursue a legislative solution to this action,” according to the July 7 order to stay.

The state of South Carolina and Augusta have sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding the future of the lock and dam.

The corps was tasked with constructing a fish passage to allow sturgeon to pass upstream and in October 2019 announced its plan to remove the lock and dam and construct a rock weir.

The lawsuit was filed to prevent the removal of the structure, constructed on the river south of North Augusta.

According to a joint report and proposal filed Wednesday, a conference was held Oct. 7 during which the parties were directed to “confer regarding a possible plan that will defer the need for Plaintiffs to file a motion for preliminary injunction until after” the present Congress had adjourned and to submit a “joint report on any mutually satisfactory proposal.”

The report filed by both sides of the suit states that the parties have been unable to reach an agreement on a proposal to present to the court.

“Given that no agreement has been reached, the parties propose that they move forward with the briefing schedule and hearing on a preliminary injunction,” the Wednesday report says.

Follow Lindsey on Twitter at @LindseyNHodges.