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5 Great Lakes states file suit to stem Asian carp invasion

A 20-pound Asian carp that made it past electrical barriers was caught last month near Lake Michigan. A 20-pound Asian carp that made it past electrical barriers was caught last month near Lake Michigan. (State of Illinois via Associated Press)
Associated Press / July 20, 2010

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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Despite being rebuffed twice by the US Supreme Court, five states filed suit yesterday with a lower federal court demanding tougher federal and municipal action to prevent Asian carp from overrunning the Great Lakes and decimating their fishing industry.

Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania said in their complaint that the situation had become more dire since a live bighead carp was found last month in a Chicago-area waterway only 6 miles from Lake Michigan — well past an electric barrier designed to block the voracious fish’s path.

“Asian carp will kill jobs and ruin our way of life,’’ Mike Cox, Michigan attorney general, said in a statement. “We cannot afford more bureaucratic delays.’’

The suit was filed in US District Court in northern Illinois. It accuses the Army Corps of Engineers and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago of creating a public nuisance by operating locks, gates, and other infrastructure through which the carp could enter the lakes.

Messages seeking comment were left with the Army Corps in Chicago, Department of Justice, and Chicago water district.

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