Following a five month delay and political interference, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released the study that evaluated control options and technologies to prevent the inter-basin transfer of Asian carp in the Great Lakes for public review and comment.
“The Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study – Brandon Road Draft Integrated Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact Statement” (GLMRIS-Brandon Road Report) is out for 45-day public comment period which will end September 21, 2017.
In 2014, the Army Corps released a report describing alternatives to prevent aquatic the spread of Asian carp between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River watersheds. Based on that assessment, the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) concluded that a formal evaluation of potential control options and technologies near Brandon Road Lock and Dam to prevent the movement of ANS from the Mississippi River Basin to the Great Lakes Basin was an appropriate next step.
On February 28th, 2017, the Trump administration halted the release of the GLMRIS-Brandon Road Report. The controversy was, in part, fuelled by a dispute between the states of Michigan and Illinois and Indiana. The former has advocated for electrical barriers to prevent further incursion of the carp while the latter two states believe such action would disrupt cargo shipping.
The draft report presents six alternatives scenarios of control measures that are formulated and evaluated for efficacy and public safety. The tentatively selected plan is the alternative that reduces the risk of Mississippi River Basin ANS establishment in the Great Lakes Basin to the maximum extent possible while minimizing impacts to waterway uses and users utilizing nonstructural measures, complex noise, water jets, engineered channel, electric barrier, flushing lock, boat launches and mooring area.
The Corps is in the process of planning public meetings in order to open a dialogue and obtain feedback. In addition to the meetings, the public will have the opportunity to provide comment through the website at http://glmris.anl.gov/brandon-rd/.