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State AG says Asian carp could get past Joliet lock


Calling it a "choke point" that could let invasive carp into the Great Lakes, State Attorney General Bill Schuette is urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to take immediate, interim steps at the Brandon Road lock on the Des Plaines River near Joliet, Illinois.

"We must do everything we can to protect the Great Lakes," Schuette said in a statement. "Michigan simply cannot afford to wait on a federal government that fails to act. We need to permanently separate these two bodies of water as soon as possible, and until that is done, take other action to prevent Asian carp from reaching the Great lakes."

Schuette says the U.S. Army Corps should not wait until it completes further study of all potential control measures for Brandon Road. Instead, he says the Corps should proceed in phases, prioritizing risk-reduction measures that can be quickly designed and implemented, such as installing underwater cameras or sonar to monitor for the presence of Asian carp within the lock.

Schuette says the Corps' existing electrical barrier can't be relied on to prevent the movement of invasive carp into Lake Michigan.

Last summer, an appeals court dismissed a lawsuit filed by Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio and Pennsylvania against the U.S. Army Corps.  The suit sought permanent closure of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, which connects the Great Lakes with the Mississippi River.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.