Michigan delegation urges Trump for release of Asian carp plan

Detroit Free Press

March 03–WASHINGTON — Practically all of Michigan’s members of Congress today urged President Donald Trump to instruct the Army Corps of Engineers to release a report on how to address the spread of Asian carp in the Midwest.

U.S. Reps. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, and Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, led the bipartisan letter, which was signed by 26 members of the U.S. House and 13 of Michigan’s 14 member House delegation. In it they asked Trump to force the release of a report that was expected this week but, as the Free Press reported, was delayed indefinitely.

U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, was the only Michigan congressman who didn’t sign, though Conyers is believed to be in support of measures to stop Asian carp.

More on Asian carp:

Sources told the Free Press that the report — which would have laid out potential ways of blocking the spread of Asian carp at the Des Plaines River in Joliet, Ill. — was delayed at the request of the Trump administration for a review. Neither the Army Corps nor the White House confirmed the source’s contention, though a Corps spokesman acknowledged the report had been delayed.

A report on ways to stop the spread of Asian carp past the Brandon Road Lock and Dam has been underway for years with environmentalists and others arguing it may offer the best way to stop Asian carp from reaching Lake Michigan.

Concern is high that if Asian carp reach the Great Lakes they could spread and decimate fish habitat. But inland shippers and some Indiana and Illinois lawmakers are objecting to any project at Brandon Road they believe might disrupt commerce.

“In order to protect both the ecosystem and the economy of the Great Lakes, we must have complete, accurate, and reliable information from the Army Corps of Engineers,” said Huizenga. “Delaying the release of the Brandon Road Lock and Dam evaluation does nothing to stop the threat Asian Carp and other invasive species pose to the largest freshwater ecosystem on the planet.”

The report, when released, is expected to put forward a tentative plan for barriers at Brandon Road, though there would still be time for public comments and changes before it is finalized.

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Contact Todd Spangler at 703-854-8947 or at tspangler@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tsspangler.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Waterways Council, Inc.
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