The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled early this week that actions taken by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to abate the threat posed to the Great Lakes by Asian carp did not rise to the level of a public nuisance.
The court noted that the plaintiffs’ court filings include a notable lack of factual allegations that Asian carp are passing or are about to pass through the barriers that the Corps has established and that the filings do not plausibly allege that the Corps cannot or will not respond to more urgent threats when and if they arise.
The court concluded:
“We accept for purposes of this appeal that immeasurable environmental and economic damage would be caused not only to Lake Michigan, but to the Great Lakes as a whole, if the Asian carp establish breed-ing populations there. But this point is uncontested, as the active efforts of the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee demonstrate. The Corps and the District in particular are engaged in intensive efforts to prevent the carp from reaching the Great Lakes, and there is a great deal of evidence that indicates they have succeeded thus far in doing so. “