Monday, February 8, 2010

Another Asian Carp Meeting On February 17

Feb 8: The International Joint Commission (IJC), in cooperation with the other participating agencies will be hosting a public meeting in Ypsilanti, MI, on February 17, to discuss plans and get recommendations on Asian carp control efforts. According to IJC the following agencies will be represented: International Joint Commission; U.S. EPA; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; U.S. Coast Guard; Great Lakes states, provinces, municipalities and tribes (invited); White House Council on Environmental Quality; and Scientific experts.

    The meeting will be held from 3:00 - 6:00 PM, Wednesday, February 17, at the Marriott Ann Arbor Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest, 1275 S. Huron, Ypsilanti, MI 48197. The meeting will also be available via live web stream (See below).
Those who cannot attend the meeting in person can submit questions on the website. When available, the framework and a transcript of the meeting will be posted on the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee website (See below).
    On February 3, U.S. EPA, on behalf of the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee, announced a similar meeting in Chicago on February 12, at the Metcalfe Federal Building, to discuss plans and get recommendations on Asian carp control efforts [See WIMS 2/4/10]. The committee will answer questions and listen to comments from the public. That meet is also available via live interactive web stream.
    A meeting on the Asian Carp issue, scheduled for today, February 8 in Washington, DC with Great Lakes Governors and White House & agency officials was cancelled due to record snowfall in DC that have paralyzed the city. According to reports, the meeting between Governors Jennifer Granholm (MI), Jim Doyle (WI), and Pat Quinn (IL) and the Administration was to take place via teleconference.
    In a related matter, U.S. Representative Pete Hoekstra (R-Holland), introduced a bill (H.R. 4604) that would make the Army Corps of Engineers the lead agency and provide them with the authority to fight the invasion of Asian carp into the Great Lakes. Hoekstra said, "Asian carp pose a devastating threat to Michigan's environment and economy. The Asian Carp Action Plan will provide the Army Corps of Engineers with a host of tools to prevent the carp from establishing a habitat in the Great Lakes." Hoekstra's bill would authorize the Army Corps of Engineers to expedite a number of measures to prevent the Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes, including applying fish poisons, fixing locks and installing new barriers that include electrical, air-bubble and sound barriers that disorient fish.
    In late January, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and U.S. Representative Dave Camp (R-MI) also introduced companion legislation, the CARP ACT (Close All Routes and Prevent Asian Carp Today, S. 2946, H.R. 4472) [See WIMS 1/22/10]. That bill would direct the Army Corps of Engineers to take immediate action to prevent the potential entry of Asian Carp into the Great Lakes.
Also, on February 9, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, Chaired by Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) will be holding a hearing on "Asian Carp and the Great Lakes." Those scheduled to testify include: U.S. EPA; Army Corps of Engineers: Illinois DNR; Michigan DNRE; Wisconsin DNR; University of Notre Dame;  Great Lakes Fishery Commission; Canal Barge Company, Inc. on behalf of The American Waterways Operators; and Alliance for the Great Lakes. [Note: Continuing weather problems could prevent this hearing].
Access the announcement of the Feb. 17 meeting (click here). Access the website for the live web stream for both meetings (click here). Access a report on the cancellation of the Governors' meeting (click here). Access a release from Rep. Hoekstra (click here). Access legislative details for H.R. 4604 (click here). Access the Coordinating Committee website (click here). Access information on the House Asian Carp hearing including an 8-page briefing report (click here).