5 states to continue suit demanding Asian carp fixPublished 8:54am Friday, July 6, 2012
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Five states are moving forward with a lawsuit against the federal government demanding steps to prevent Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes, despite recent congressional action, the Michigan attorney general’s office said Thursday.
Legislation approved last month requires the Army Corps of Engineers to complete a plan for shielding the lakes from the invasive carp within 18 months, or toward the end of 2013. A quicker timetable was one of the requests in a suit filed three years ago by Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
But the states will continue pressing their case because the legislation doesn’t guarantee that the corps ultimately will sever a man-made link between Lake Michigan and carp-infested waters near Chicago, said Joy Yearout, spokeswoman for Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. The lawsuit seeks a court order for such a step.
“The bill passed by Congress puts a limit on the Army corps’ endless studies but doesn’t address future actions,” Yearout said. “We’re hopeful the lawsuit could result in permanent separation.”
The case recently was transferred from U.S. District Judge Robert Dow to another judge, John Tharp, as part of a docket reshuffling, Yearout said. It has not been scheduled for trial. A government motion to dismiss the suit is pending.