Michigan AG seeks to close Chicago Sanitary and Shipping Canal

Chris Rizo Dec. 7, 2009, 12:23pm

Mike Cox (R)

LANSING, Mich. (Legal Newsline)- Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox says he plans to file a lawsuit to force the closure of the locks in the Chicago Sanitary and Shipping Canal to block the migration of Asian carp into the Great Lakes.

The Republican attorney general and Republican gubernatorial candidate plans to demand that the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Illinois and the City of Chicago close the locks until a long-term fix to the carp crisis can be agreed upon.

The attorney general's lawsuit could be filed directly in the U.S. Supreme Court or under a long running federal case concerning the diversion of water from the Great Lakes through the canal.

Officials found one invasive Asian carp in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal on Thursday. Trying to prevent the carp from reaching Lake Michigan where they could ravage the Great Lakes $7 billion fishing industry, authorities poisoned part of the canal last week.

"With Asian Carp literally at the front door of the Great Lakes, we will not get another chance to protect our greatest natural resource," Cox said. "The Great Lakes are a vital part of our economy, our way of life, and our future. They are an essential part of turning Michigan around. Allowing the lakes to be decimated when authorities knew of the danger for years would be a colossal failure."

On Wednesday, Cox sent a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers, the state of Illinois, and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago asking that they take immediate action.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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