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Michigan AG Takes Carp to Supreme Court

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Michigan AG Takes Carp to Supreme Court

Invasive Asian Carp (Photo Courtesy The Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez)

A decades-old lawsuit could mean the end of Illinois’ multimillion dollar barge industry.

That’s because Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox says he thinks it’s the only way to protect the Great Lakes from the invasive Asian carp. He’s reopened a 1966 case that says Illinois canals expose the Great Lakes to unnecessary harm.

Spokesman John Selleck says the Attorney General believes the locks must be closed.

SELLECK: Everything that’s involved here has to do with the diversion of water. the diversion of water and the creation of the canal are what has put Lake Michigan and the rest of the Great Lakes at risk.

Selleck says Michigan’s fragile economy can’t afford that risk.

But Illinois barge owners say the trio of locks leading into Lake Michigan are central to their industry. They say they won’t be able to serve major clients - including Indiana’s steel mills - unless the locks remain open.

Almost 17 million tons of raw goods pass through Illinois locks every year.

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