Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Congress Presses Corps On Separating Great Lakes & Mississippi

Feb 3: Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), co-chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, the five co-chairs of the House Great Lakes Task Force, and 26 of their House and Senate colleagues sent a letter to the civilian head of the Army Corps of Engineers today to highlight a new report, Restoring the Natural Divide, on ways to keep separate the waters of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River basins [See WIMS 1/31/12]. Such measures could prevent the introduction of harmful aquatic invasive species including Asian carp into the Great Lakes. The detailed $2 million project report prepared by the engineering firm HDR, Inc. for the Great Lakes Commission (GLC) and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, was released on January 30, 2012.
   In the bipartisan and bicameral letter to Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army, Civil Works, Levin and the others note that "the report provides a trove of information that the Army Corps of Engineers can use in its own study on the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River Basin and the Chicago Area Waterway System." The members asked the secretary to let them know how the Corps will use the analysis in Restoring the Natural Divide to speed up its own report, the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS). Copies were also sent to Nancy Sutley, Chair, Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and John Goss, the CEQ Asian Carp Director.
    Access a release from the Members including the letter and list of signers (click here). Access the report and all supporting materials (click here). 
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