Michigan Makes Third Attempt to Block Carp

Michigan Makes Third Attempt to Block Carp

Twice rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox is taking his battle against Asian carp back to federal court, this time alleging the Obama administration failed to act to stop their invasion of the Great Lakes.

Cox, who is also a Republican candidate for governor, announced Monday that he filed suit in U.S. District Court in Chicago to force the Army Corps of Engineers to take immediate steps to block carp in Chicago area waterways from migrating into Lake Michigan. The suit alleges that the Corps violated the Administrative Procedures Act by making a decision that is arbitrary or illegal.

“President Obama and the Army Corps of Engineers have failed to fight Asian carp aggressively," said Cox. “Asian carp will kill jobs and ruin our way of life. We cannot afford more bureaucratic delays – emergency action must be taken to protect the Great Lakes.”

In December 2009 and February 2010, Cox petitioned the Supreme Court to intervene, by immediately closing the O’Brien Lock between the waterway and Lake Michigan. Commercial interests and the state of Illinois vigorously opposed the petitions, arguing that closing the waterways would inhibit barge traffic.

On June 4, the Corps announced test results that found no carp north of an electrified barrier near Lockport, Ill. Three weeks later, the Corps found a single fish in Calumet Lake, which opens directly into Lake Michigan.

The state, supported by environmental groups, fear that if voracious carp establish themselves in the Great Lakes, they could destroy a billion-dollar fishing industry.

-- Contact R.G. Edmonson at bedmonson@joc.com.