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Michigan Sues Illinois Over Asian Carp

By Kevin Robinson in News on Dec 22, 2009 4:20PM

As the fight against the Asian Carp invasion continues, the State of Michigan has filed suit to force the State of Illinois, the Army Corps of Engineers and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago to shut the shipping locks and canals that feed into Lake Michigan. "The Great Lakes are an irreplaceable resource," Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, who is seeking the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Michigan, said at a news conference in Detroit. "Thousands of jobs are at stake and we will not get a second chance once the carp enter Lake Michigan." Because the subject of the suit is a dispute between the states, Cox filed his suit in the Supreme Court, which has jurisdiction over disputes between the states.

Michigan is seeking to reopen a case that began when Missouri sued Chicago over reversing the flow of the Chicago River. The court ruled that Chicago could divert no more than 1.2 billion gallons of water per day from the lake, although Michigan is arguing that leaving the shipping canals and locks open presents a potential injury to the lakes if the Asian Carp gets into the Great Lakes.

Left out of this argument, of course, is some reporting done by the Sun-Times earlier this month: fishermen have been pulling Asian Carp from the lagoons in Chicago since at least 2003. In the meantime, the Obama administration has pledged an additional $13 million to address the problem. Nevertheless, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District spokeswoman Jill Horist pointed out that even if the locks are closed, "there's still a variety of ways for DNA or Asian carp to enter Lake Michigan."