Stabenow, Peters press Trump for Asian carp report

WASHINGTON - Michigan’s U.S. senators and 10 others from Great Lakes states today again asked the Trump administration to release a report on potential proposals for dealing with the threat posed by invasive Asian carp.

The Free Press first reported that the tentative plan to address the threat of Asian carp moving closer to Lake Michigan had been delayed in late February with sources saying the Trump administration wanted to review it, though it was not known why.

The plan – which was expected to recommend measures to prevent the carp from getting beyond the Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Joliet, Ill., a crucial chokepoint in the Chicago waterway system – had been underway for years and still allowed for other alternatives to be considered before being finalized.

Business and shipping interests in the region had come out against potential recommendations that could slow inland navigation. But supporters of the Brandon Road project say if Asian carp reach Lake Michigan – getting past electronic barriers already in place – they could decimate habitat for other fish.

In the letter today, U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, both D-Mich., said they were “concerned by what we understand to be a White House decision to delay and potentially modify this report that has been under development for years.”

“When taken together with the proposal to eliminate all funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in the fiscal year 2018 budget, delaying the release of this plan to address Asian carp only raises further questions about the administration’s commitment to protecting our Great Lakes,” they wrote.

The Army Corps of Engineers, which wrote the plan, said upon delaying its release only that it was pulled back to arrange for more coordination among agencies.

Others signing onto the letter: Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, both D-Ill.; Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.; Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, both D-Minn.; Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, both D-N.Y.; Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Bob Casey, D-Pa.; and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.

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

Detroit Free Press


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