Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) released the following statement on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' indication that it will not provide a comprehensive plan on preventing invasive species from entering the Great Lakes:
"I appreciate the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers meeting its deadline for the 90 day report, but I am troubled by the Corps' suggestion that it will not be providing a final feasibility report to Congress at the end of the 18 month deadline as required under my legislation," Portman said. "Recent DNA findings have shown that Asian carp may have already entered our waterways; time is running out, and we must come up with a plan to protect the Great Lakes from these and other invasive species. The work the Corps is doing in identifying a cost-effective solution is a critical piece that must be completed before Congress can provide funding. In 18 months, the Corps must provide a fully developed plan to Congress if we are going to be able to act swiftly and decisively."
The Stop Invasive Species Act, introduced by Senators Portman and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) to stop Asian carp from destroying the Great Lakes' ecosystem, was signed into law by the President in June as part of the transportation bill. This bipartisan legislation is supported by Members of Congress in both parties and requires the expedited creation of a plan to block Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes through a number of rivers and tributaries across the Great Lakes region. Congressman Camp introduced the bill in the House.
The Stop Invasive Species Act requires the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to submit to Congress an expedited action plan with options for stopping Asian carp from penetrating the Great Lakes across 18 possible points of entry.
The bill is supported by the Great Lakes Commission, The Great Lakes Fishery Commission, Alliance for the Great Lakes, Healing our Waters Coalition, National Wildlife Federation and Trout Unlimited.
Earlier this week, Alliance of the Great Lakes, Minnesota Clean Water Action, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council and Healing Our Waters -- Great Lakes Coalition joined together and sent a letter to the Corps encouraging them to adhere to Congressional authority and complete a plan to prevent the spread of Asian Carp.