U.S. Representative Judy Biggert (R-IL-13th) issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court denied Michigan's motion for a preliminary injunction that would have closed major Chicago-area navigational waterways as part of a broader effort to address the invasive Asian carp:
"This injunction was entirely unjustified on any legal or scientific grounds, and I'm thankful that the Supreme Court today rejected a rash demand that would do grave harm to the livelihoods of Illinois residents. The threat posed by Asian carp is real, and it requires scientifically sound solutions that utilize the best tools in our arsenal -- from electronic barriers, to fish toxin, to DNA tracking. But simply closing Chicago's waterways is completely unwarranted -- it would devastate Chicago businesses, destroy jobs, and raise the cost for basic products like grain, ore, and energy throughout the Midwest. It also could lead to sewage back-up and major flooding, potentially even creating new channels for the carp to reach our lakes."
"We need to let our environmental experts do their jobs, and work together as Great Lakes advocates to put the support and resources needed behind their efforts. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the EPA and many other agencies large and small have all joined together to address this threat as a team. I would hope that instead of pursuing this lawsuit any further, other Great Lakes States would join Illinois in the same spirit of cooperation. Later today, the Asian Carp Rapid Response Working Group is expected to release more information about its plan of action to address the carp threat, and I look forward to reviewing their recommendations.
"I also hope other Great Lakes lawmakers will join me in supporting a request I made to expand the emergency authority that Congress recently granted the U.S. Army Corps to address this threat as part of the 2010 energy and water appropriations package. I made this request for inclusion in the upcoming Water Resources Development Act, which I am hopeful Congress will consider this year."
Editor's note: On January 6, 2010, Biggert authored a letter signed by 20 members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation in support of the Illinois Attorney General's defense of Illinois in the Asian carp dispute with Michigan. To read the letter, click here.