Friday, January 22, 2010

Stabenow & Camp Introduce Bills To Stop Asian Carp

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and U.S. Representative Dave Camp (R-MI) announced the Senate introduction of the CARP ACT (Close All Routes and Prevent Asian Carp Today, S. 2946). The bill would direct the Army Corps of Engineers to take immediate action to prevent the potential entry of Asian Carp into the Great Lakes. Recent samples of Asian Carp environmental DNA have demonstrated the invasive species’ progress toward the Great Lakes through the Mississippi River [See WIMS 1/21/10]. Congressman Camp introduced the CARP ACT (H.R. 4472) yesterday in the House.

Stabenow said, “Asian Carp are a very serious threat to our state and must be stopped from entering the Great Lakes. This invasive species will not only harm our ecosystem it will also hurt our economy, costing us thousands of jobs. The CARP ACT will close off Great Lakes access to Asian Carp and expedite important emergency measures.” Representative Camp said, “It is absolutely necessary for us to preventing Asian Carp from entering the Great Lakes. This legislation will ensure the Great Lakes are protected and should satisfy any concerns about any impacts on commerce or flood control in Chicago. This is a sensible approach and one that should be acted on immediately.”

Among other requirements the bills call for the immediate closure of certain Chicago-area locks until a controlled lock operations strategy is developed; immediate installation of interim barriers at specified locations; enhancement of existing barriers and monitoring systems; mitigating the impact on commerce and the City of Chicago; preventing and eradicating Asian Carp through the use of fish toxicant, commercial fishing and netting, harvesting, and other means necessary. On the Chicago impacts the bill calls for two studies: one to develop a strategy to mitigate the effects of this bill on existing commerce in the canals and rivers, and one to abate the effects on Chicago flood control.

The legislation will likely be the subject of discussion at the upcoming meeting with the Great Lakes Governors agreed to by Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and scheduled for early February. Sutley said, "I welcome the opportunity to meet with the Great Lakes Governors on this important issue a meeting during the first week of February, either in the Midwest or in Washington DC with the Great Lakes Governors or their designees [
See WIMS 1/21/10].

Access a release from Senator Stabenow (click here). Access legislative details for S. 2946 (click here). Access legislative details for H.R. 4472 (click here).