Judge tosses Asian carp suit but leaves door open
CHICAGO — A federal judge on Monday threw out a lawsuit filed by five states that want barriers placed in Chicago-area waterways to prevent Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes, but he said he would consider arguments if the case were filed again.
Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio and Pennsylvania claimed the Army Corps of Engineers and Chicago's Metropolitan Water Reclamation District are causing a public nuisance by failing to physically separate a network of rivers and canals from Lake Michigan.
Scientists have detected DNA from bighead and silver carp in the waterways. They say if the voracious carp become established in the Great Lakes, they could out-compete native species and severely damage the region's $7 billion fishing industry.
U.S. District Judge John Tharp said he couldn't order the agencies to do what the states want because federal law requires the corps to keep shipping channels open between Lake Michigan and one of the Chicago waterways — the Des Plaines River — and prohibits constructing dams in any navigable waterway without Congress' consent.
Tharp said he was “mindful of, and alarmed by, the potentially devastating ecological, environmental, and economic consequences that may result from the establishment of an Asian carp population in the Great Lakes.” But he said the proper way for the states to win approval of separating the waterways is through Congress.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Annapolis Marine capain could be 1st to perform as part of Blue Angels team
- Pope to visit Philly next year
- New Jersey siblings split $20M lottery prize
- Payday lenders, online gambling outlets unfairly targeted in probe, GOP lawmakers say
- Carjacked SUV hits crowd in Philadelphia, killing 3 siblings
- Psychiatrist returns fire in hospital shooting; caseworker killed in gunplay
- Radar captures mayfly swarm on Mississippi
- Obama wants to end U.S. companies skirting tax laws by merging with overseas entities
- Man told transit police the Boston Marathon bomber ‘was my best friend’
- Medical pot could bring Fla. tax revenue windfall
- Helpful weather to aid in Washington wildfire battle