Testimony is slated to take place Aug. 23 in the case to block Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan, according to the Michigan attorney general’s office.
Mike Cox, the state’s attorney general, filed suit on July 19 against the Corps of Engineers to force the closure of waterways between the Illinois River and Lake Michigan to prevent the spread of the invasive species. Michigan is joined by four other states adjacent to the Great Lakes.
According to Cox, a U.S. District Court judge in Chicago set the August date, adding that there is also an option to add two additional days of testimony.
The carp problem has pitted environmental against the barge industry that claims closing the waterway would cost hundreds of millions. In December 2009 and last February, Cox unsuccessfully petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to order the closing of the waterway.
“The Great Lakes will now have their day in court,” Cox said. He said the case was given more urgency after a carp was found in Lake Calumet last June. The lake empties into Lake Michigan.
Authorities were unable to determine how the fish got there. There has been speculation that the carp were deliberately released in the lake.
The Corps operates an electric barrier near Lockport, Ill., to deter the carp from swimming upstream toward the lake.
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