50 Members of Congress Send Letter Calling for Measures to Stop Asian Carp from Getting to Great Lakes
U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and 49 other members of Congress sent a letter to administration officials today calling for immediate steps to stop Asian Carp from spreading to the Great Lakes. Levin co-chairs the Senate Great Lakes Task Force with Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio. The letter was sent to Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad W. Allen and Fish & Wildlife Service Director Sam D. Hamilton.
A PDF of the letter is available by clicking here. The text of the letter follows:
Dear Secretary Darcy, Administrator Jackson, Admiral Allen, and Director Hamilton:
We are writing today to emphasize the urgency for keeping the Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. Recently, testing has found genetic material from Asian carp above the electric dispersal barrier in the Chicago Sanitary and Shipping Canal. We urge all of your agencies to work cooperatively and expeditiously to prevent the carp from entering the Great Lakes.
Specifically, we urge your agencies to immediately consider:
* Implementing the recommendations of the Asian Carp Rapid Response Project. This project is a federal/non-federal partnership of leading experts.
* Closing the O'Brien and Chicago Locks if there is reasonable likelihood that Asian carp are above the barrier.
* Continuing the use of piscicides as a rapid response measure.
* Creating a permanent hydrological separation between the Great Lakes and the Canal.
* Increasing the voltage of the electric dispersal barrier to prevent Asian carp of any size from crossing the barrier.
* Drafting and approving the planned interim reports as part of the Efficacy Study, which was authorized under section 3061 of WRDA 2007, in order for the Corps of Engineers to take action to prevent Asian carp from bypassing the existing electric dispersal barrier project in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.
In addition to finding positive eDNA in the Canal, genetic material was also found in the Des Plaines River, north of the electric dispersal barrier. Given the risk that the carp could bypass the barrier if the Des Plaines River were to flood, Congress provided the Corps with additional authority in the Fiscal Year 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations bill to prevent this from happening. We understand that work on this report is on-going, and it is urgent that an interim report be finalized soon.
Finally, we encourage you to carefully consider your Fiscal Year 2011 budget needs for the barrier project and Asian carp efforts. Over the life of the barrier project, Congress has had to provide new authority and new funding on multiple occasions, and a comprehensive, planned approach would be more effective.
There may be no greater threat to the ecosystem of the Great Lakes than the introduction of the Asian carp, and we must do all that we can to prevent this from happening. We appreciate your attention to this urgent matter and look forward to your response.
Carl Levin, United States Senator
George V. Voinovich, United States Senator
Mark Kirk, Member of Congress
John Dingell, Member of Congress
Louise M. Slaughter, Member of Congress
Vernon J. Ehlers, Member of Congress
Debbie Stabenow, United States Senator
Sherrod Brown, United States Senator
Russ Feingold, United States Senator
Robert Casey, Jr., United States Senator
Herb Kohl, United States Senator
Roland Burris, United States Senator
Amy Klobuchar, United States Senator
Al Franken, United States Senator
Charles Schumer, United States Senator
Kristen E. Gillibrand, United States Senator
Brian Higgins, Member of Congress
Sander Levin, Member of Congress
Gwen Moore, Member of Congress
Marcy Kaptur, Member of Congress
Gary Peters, Member of Congress
Judy Biggert, Member of Congress
Betty Sutton, Member of Congress
Mike Quigley, Member of Congress
Fred Upton, Member of Congress
John Conyers, Jr., Member of Congress
Peter Visclosky, Member of Congress
Candice Miller, Member of Congress
Dave Camp, Member of Congress
Mike Roger, Member of Congress
Tammy Baldwin, Member of Congress
Dale Kildee, Member of Congress
Steven LaTourette, Member of Congress
Kathy Dahlkemper, Member of Congress
Janice Schakowsky, Member of Congress
Mark Schauer, Member of Congress
Thaddeus McCotter, Member of Congress
Pete Hoekstra, Member of Congress
Tim Ryan, Member of Congress
Bart Stupak, Member of Congress
Robert Latta, Member of Congress
Charles Wilson, Member of Congress
Joe Donnelly, Member of Congress
Thomas Petri, Member of Congress
Steve Kagen, Member of Congress
James Sensenbrenner, Member of Congress
Ron Kind, Member of Congress
Carolyn Kilpatrick, Member of Congress
Paul Ryan, Member of Congress
Luis Gutierrez, Member of Congress