Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Democrats from Great Lakes states urge Trump to release Army Corps plan to stop Asian carp

Asian carp (AP photo by John Flesher)
A dozen Democratic senators from eight Great Lakes states sent a letter Monday, April 10, "to Trump administration officials urging them to move ahead with a plan to stop Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes by stopping them at a Chicago-area lock and dam," John Myers reports for the Duluth News Tribune.

"The carp project, which was supposed to be outlined in a February study released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was held back by the Trump administration at the last minute with no set date for release," Myers writes. "The study was supposed to outline a plan to stop the migration at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam, a crucial chokepoint near Joliet, Ill., in the Chicago waterway system."

The dam is 286 miles above the confluence of the Illinois River and the Mississippi River, Melissa Nann Burke notes for The Detroit News. "Federal agencies have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on stopgap measures, including placing electric barriers for the destructive fish in the Chicago area waterway system. But parties in Illinois and Indiana have raised concerns, prompting lawmakers from those states to request the delay earlier this year."

The senators wrote: “We request the administration release the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ draft proposal to prevent Asian carp from reaching and severely harming the Great Lakes. We are concerned by what we understand to be a White House decision to delay and potentially modify this report that has been under development for years. When taken together with the proposal to eliminate all funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in the fiscal year 2018 budget, delaying the release of this plan to address Asian carp only raises further questions about the Administration’s commitment to protecting our Great Lakes.”

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