Illinois offers to sponsor Asian Carp project near Joliet
CHICAGO (May 4, 2018) – Gov. Bruce Rauner today announced the State of Illinois’ willingness to partner with the US Army Corps of Engineers to enhance efforts to keep invasive Asian Carp from reaching Lake Michigan (letter attached). As was confirmed by the US Army Corps of Engineers, Illinois is the only state with the necessary rights-of-way, public water authority, and jurisdiction to serve as the Non-Federal Sponsor and move properly mitigated measures forward to not only protect the great lakes, but our taxpayers, economy, and environment.
Rauner also invited all seven Great Lakes governors to work with Illinois and the Army Corps of Engineers as the details of the Asian Carp project at Brandon Road are finalized (letter attached). Since 2010, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has led 27 local, state, federal and provincial partners in the fight to keep Asian Carp out of Lake Michigan, and their efforts have removed 93% of the Asian Carp population from its leading edge since 2012.
“No one cares more about protecting Lake Michigan and our Great Lakes than the State of Illinois,” said Gov. Rauner. “While Illinois has jurisdiction over our waterways and is the only state authorized to serve as project lead, I realize we cannot be effective unless we work together. That is why I invite my colleagues to work with Illinois in a new coalition to protect our lakes, our economy, and our ecosystems.”
“Since 1990, Asian Carp have not moved from their current location – nearly 50 miles from Lake Michigan in the Dresden Island Pool,” said Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources Director Wayne Rosenthal. “Science tells us our efforts have been effective.”
In 2007, Congress authorized the US Army Corps of Engineers to study Asian Carp and other Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS). In 2015, Congress identified Brandon Road Lock and Dam (Public Law 114-113) as the site for enhanced efforts to prevent the upstream transfer of aquatic invasive species.
On December 8, 2017 Illinois submitted comments to the Army Corps outlining concerns the proposed project design would disrupt Chicago’s transportation system, hurt our economy, and harm the Des Plaines River ecosystem. Furthermore, due to Army Corps regulations, this $300 million project would require Illinois taxpayers to pay $100 million in construction costs and an additional $10 million annually toward operation and maintenance expenses.
“While our efforts to keep Asian Carp from Lake Michigan have proven effective, many have suggested we need to do more,” said Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, Chairman of the Illinois River Coordinating Council. “If the Corps can address our economic, transportation, environmental, and cost concerns in partnership with Illinois – we have no problem working with other states to enhance our efforts at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam.”