CHICAGO — The AP is reporting that a federal judge on Monday threw out the lawsuit filed by five states that sought barriers placed in Chicago-area waterways to prevent Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes. He said, however, “that he would consider new arguments if the case were filed again.”
Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin claimed in the lawsuit that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Chicago’s Metropolitan Water Reclamation District “are causing a public nuisance by failing to physically separate a network of rivers and canals from Lake Michigan.” They are concerned that if the carp make it to the Great Lakes they could crowd out native species and adversely affect the fishing industry, specifically.
U.S. District Judge John Tharp decided that federal law, which requires the Corps to keep shipping channels open between Lake Michigan and one of the Chicago waterways and prohibits constructing dams in any navigable waterway without Congress’ consent, trumps the lawsuit. He wrote that he was “mindful of, and alarmed by, the potentially devastating ecological, environmental and economic consequences that may result from the establishment of an Asian carp population in the Great Lakes,” but that states need to go through Congress for relief.