WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar is calling on the Administration to take immediate action to prevent the disruption of barge traffic on the Mississippi River. This year’s drought has led to low water levels on the Mississippi River that threaten to make barge travel­­—which is critical to commerce in Minnesota—more difficult. Klobuchar is urging the Administration to cut through red tape to expedite actions that would help maintain water levels and make sure that Minnesota farmers and businesses can continue to ship their goods efficiently and effectively.

“The Mississippi River is a crucial artery of commerce for Minnesota and ensuring our businesses can continue to use the waterway to transport their goods is critical to our state’s economy,” said Klobuchar. “This year’s drought has been tough enough on our farmers and businesses, and the last thing they need is to wade through more red tape to get their products to market. We need to take immediate action to protect this vital waterway to preserve jobs and keep our economy moving.”

The Mississippi River moves hundreds of millions of tons of essential goods and commodities such as corn, grain, coal, petroleum and many other products. Shipping delays could result in the loss of billions of dollars in revenue from these goods and adversely impact local economies up and down the river.

Sen. Klobuchar recently wrote letters to both President Obama and the Assistant Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy urging the Administration to take swift action to prevent disruption to inland waterway navigation. The letters recommend that the United States Army Corps of Engineers remove rock formations in the river that impede navigation and potentially allow additional water flows from the Missouri River reservoirs into the Mississippi River to maintain barge travel in the region.

Last month Sen. Klobuchar also met with the Assistant Secretary and a bipartisan group of senators to discuss ways to cut through red tape to speed up actions that would help ensure barge travel.