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Camp Introduces CARP ACT Following Disappointing Supreme Court Decision

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Washington, D.C., Jan 20, 2010 | Lauren Phillips or Sage Eastman ((202) 225-3561) | comments
U.S. Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), the Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Committee, today introduced legislation to immediately halt the potential entry of Asian Carp into the Great Lakes and construct permanent barriers to this invasive species.

Camp introduced H.R. 4472, the CARP ACT, Close All Routes and Prevent Asian Carp Today, which seeks to achieve similar results as the motion filed before the U.S. Supreme Court by Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox. The Court announced yesterday they would not issue a temporary injunction in that case, thus leaving open pathways through which Asian Carp could enter the Great Lakes.

“It is clear Asian Carp pose an immediate threat to the Great Lakes, its ecosystem and the 800,000 jobs it supports,” said Camp. “The failure of the Supreme Court to act yesterday jeopardizes the future of the Lakes and it is clear we must take additional steps now. So, today, I am introducing legislation that will provide for the immediate closure of all Asian Carp pathways to the Great Lakes. This bill takes necessary action to protect the Great Lakes while minimizing the commercial and environmental impact on Chicago and the State of Illinois.”

This bill falls on the heels of reports that evidence of the carp has touched Lake Michigan for the first time. Yesterday Asian Carp environmental DNA, or eDNA, was found in Calumet Harbor in Illinois. The corpse of an Asian Carp was discovered 25 miles southwest of Chicago in December, proving their migration north much faster than anticipated.

Addressing concerns voiced by Illinois officials about the impact of closing Chicago-area locks, Camp’s legislation specifically tasks the Army Corps of Engineers with conducting two separate studies to develop alternative flood control measures and commercial routes.

“Let me be clear: Illinois has legitimate concerns, but they do not outweigh the potential loss of a $7.5 billion industry and ecological devastation of the entire Great Lakes region,” Camp said.

Details of the CARP ACT include:

Immediate closure of certain Chicago-area locks:
Directs the Army Corps of Engineers to close the O'Brien Lock and Dam and the Chicago Controlling Works until a controlled lock operations strategy is developed.

Immediate installation of interim barriers: Directs the Army Corps of Engineers to install barriers in the North Shore Channel and the Grand and Little Calumet Rivers to prevent the migration of bighead and silver carps into Lake Michigan, as well as between the Des Plaines River and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (CSSC) and between the Illinois & Michigan (I&M) Canal and the CSSC to prevent carp from entering the Canal during a flood event.

Enhancement of existing barriers and monitoring systems: Includes granting authority to the Army Corps of Engineers to acquire all real estate interests necessary for the construction, operation and maintenance of the barrier system.

Mitigating the impact on commerce and the City of Chicago: Instructs the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct 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.

Preventing and eradicating Asian Carp: Grants the Army Corps of Engineers new authority to eliminate and prevent the spread of Asian Carp through the use of fish toxicant, commercial fishing and netting, harvesting, and other means necessary.

Please visit camp.house.gov/asiancarp for more information.
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