Court Moves Asian Carp Case Forward
LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Mike
Cox today announced that a federal judge has scheduled the first evidentiary
hearings on the merits of Michigan's lawsuit aimed at stopping the advance of
Asian carp into the Great Lakes. The hearings will take place at the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, in Chicago, on September 7th
and 8th. An additional date, September 10th, is also
great news for the Great Lakes," Cox said. "The future of our water-based
economy and environment is hanging in the balance."
general from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Ohio have joined Cox in his
lawsuit, which was filed July 19, 2010, due to the Army Corps' dismal record of
inaction in confronting Asian carp. Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr. today heard
arguments regarding Michigan's motion for Preliminary Injunction, which calls
for several short-term responses to the Asian carp threat, the need for which
was made clear by the recent capture of a live bighead carp in Lake Calumet, six
miles from Lake Michigan and beyond any barriers. Michigan's motion calls for
the temporary closure of the O'Brien and Chicago Locks and blocking other
pathways in the Chicago water system, except as needed to protect public health
and safety, among other actions.
is supported by affidavits from two experts: Dr. Tammy Newcomb of the Michigan
Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) and Dr. John C. Taylor of
Wayne State University. Both experts are prepared to testify, if called.
calls for the Corps to use all available efforts to block Asian carp passage in
the waterways linked to Lake Michigan, including:
nets, other physical barriers and fish poison at locations to block or kill
Asian carp that have already swam through the O'Brien lock, dangerously
close to Lake Michigan;
and maintain block nets and other physical barriers in the Little Calumet
River, where no barrier of any kind currently exists;
Temporarily close the O'Brien and Chicago Locks;
and maintain screens on sluice gates at the O'Brien Lock, the Chicago River
Controlling Works and the Wilmette Pumping Station to reduce the risk of
fish passage when gates are open; and
Accelerate efforts to complete a feasibility study of a permanent
hydrological separation of the Great Lakes Basin from the Mississippi River
within the next 18 months, with reports at six and 12 months.
lawsuit makes clear that all of the requested action would be subject to
exceptions to prevent flooding, allow access for emergency responders and any
other action necessary to prevent serious threats to public health and safety.
this year, Cox petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene and address the
threat of Asian carp. The Supreme Court declined the take up the case but did
not rule on the merits of the legal claims by Michigan and other Great Lakes
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