May 24, 2019 (Chicago) – Efforts to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes took an important step forward yesterday. Commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, signed the Brandon Road Chief’s Report recommending a suite of Asian carp protections at Brandon Road Lock and Dam located near Joliet, Illinois. The report concludes a years-long feasibility study and paves the way for Congressional action on the project.
The Brandon Road facility, operated by the Corps, is a logical choke point in the waterways leading to Lake Michigan. Additional protections at Brandon Road could impede the movement of Asian carp toward the lake. After five years of study, the Corps has proposed a suite of structural measures at the lock to fortify efforts to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. The Chief’s Report will be sent to Congress and will include the information needed to authorize project construction in the next Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) to be introduced this Congress. The report also allows the Corps and the state of Illinois to move forward with Pre-construction, Engineering, and Design (PED) on the project, the immediate next step in the process.
In response, Alliance for the Great Lakes Vice President for Policy Molly Flanagan released the following statement:
“Asian carp pose a clear and present danger to the Great Lakes. We are pleased that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has signed the Chief of Engineers report recommending additional protections at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Joliet, Illinois. After five years of study, the report provides Congress the information it needs to act.
During the Corp’s study process, tens of thousands of Great Lakers submitted comments expressing concern about the Asian carp threat and demanding swift action to keep them out of the lakes. The Alliance for the Great Lakes joins them in urging Congress to move quickly to authorize funding for this project.
The Great Lakes states and provinces also have a pivotal role to play in moving this project forward. Non Federal funds are needed for the next phase of the project—Preconstruction, Engineering and Design and also for construction. The Great Lakes Governors and Premiers are meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from June 14-16. We implore them to prioritize this project as they discuss issues of critical importance to the Great Lakes.”