Today, Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D. joined a bipartisan effort seeking immediate actions to prevent Asian Carp from invading the Great Lakes and expressed his support for the lawsuit filed by the Great Lakes Attorneys General yesterday. The Permanent Prevention of Asian Carp Act, co-sponsored by Dr. Kagen, will require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct and expedite a study detailing engineering options in order to determine the best way to permanently separate the Mississippi River Basin from Lake Michigan.
"The Great Lakes are a critical asset to our Wisconsin economy as well as being an environmental gem," said Kagen. "We must take necessary action to prevent the Asian Carp from inflicting great damage to our tourism and fishing industries to protect the jobs and way of life that depend on them."
Under the Permanent Prevention of Asian Carp Act (H.R. 5625/S.B. 3553), the study must begin within 30 days of the bill's enactment, and the Army Corps must send a progress report on the study to Congress and the President within six months and again in 12 months.
"We cannot wait while the Army Corps of Engineers continues to broadly examine the threat that Asian Carp pose," continued Kagen. "I support Attorney General Van Hollen's action yesterday and am eager to continue working with my colleagues to address the critical issues confronting our valuable Great Lakes."
The full study must be completed and given to Congress and the President 18 months after the bill is enacted, and will be monitored by the Council on Environmental Quality to ensure its thorough and timely completion.
The study required by the Permanent Prevention of Asian Carp Act will also address flooding threats, Chicago wastewater, water safety operations, and barge and recreational vessel traffic alternatives. It will examine other modes of transportation for the shipping industry and influence new engineering designs to move canal traffic from one body of water to the other without transferring invasive species.