Today, the Supreme Court announced that it will not reopen the century-old case known as the “Chicago Diversion Case” brought by six Great Lakes states against Illinois. Michigan has led the charge in an attempt to halt the advance of Asian carp fish into Lake Michigan.
The original suit was brought by Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox at Governor Jennifer Granholm’s request and it included an injunction to close the locks on the Chicago Sanitary and Shipping Canal to halt the fish after fish eDNA was found in the canal past the electronic barrier and in the Calumet Harbor of Lake Michigan. The Court twice denied this injunction and now they have refused to hear the suit that would have tried to bring about a long-term solution to the carp problem by separating the Mississippi River Basin from the Great Lakes Basin. Cox commented this morning that it is now up to the President, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid to protect the Great Lakes and the region’s economy.
“The fight to protect Michigan’s jobs and environment now falls to President Obama and Congress,” said Cox. Michigan and all other Great Lakes residents should contact the President immediately and tell him the future of our region requires immediate action.”
Michigan Congressman Dave Camp and Senator Debbie Stabenow have introduced legislation that would allow for lock closure while a permanent solution is determined. The CARP Act (HR 4472 and S 294) and it would need to be moved forward by Pelosi and Reid. The best long-term solution is a permanent separation of the basins and that is what Congress, the White House, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency should be focused upon. There is a $7 billion fishing and recreational boating industry that is at stake.
Michigan was joined by Indiana, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and the Province of Ontario in the plea to the US Supreme Court.