Schuette Takes Great Lakes States' Fight Against
Asian Carp to the U.S. Supreme Court
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced he has
filed a request for appeal with the United State Supreme Court to review a U.S.
Court of Appeals decision that denied the request of five Great Lakes states for
an immediate injunction requiring a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study on
ecological separation to be greatly sped up and the installation of nets to stop
the advancement of Asian carp toward Lake Michigan. Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio,
Pennsylvania and Wisconsin filed originally filed the suit in July 2010 against
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Chicago Water District in federal court.
"We need to close the Asian carp superhighway, and do it now,"
said Schuette. "Time is running out for the Great Lakes, and we can't afford to
wait years before
government takes meaningful action."
On August 24, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th
Circuit in Chicago issued a ruling on the preliminary injunction request
concluding that Michigan's lawsuit had "a good or even substantial likelihood of
success on the merits of their public nuisance claim." Despite the recognition
of the real threat posed by Asian carp, the Court denied the states' request.
The states then decided to appeal.
Schuette's office today submitted a Petition for a Writ of
Certiorari also signed by the attorneys general of Minnesota, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The petition asks the U.S. Supreme Court to
overturn the 7th Circuit decision and order the following:
Require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to install block
nets in the Little Calumet and Grand Calumet rivers, two open pathways
between the Mississippi River and Great Lakes basins that are vulnerable to
Asian carp invasion; and
Require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to expedite the
completion of its study of permanent ecological separation between the Great
Lakes and Mississippi River basins, so that the part of the study focused on
the Chicago Area Waterway is completed within 18 months, not five years.
Schuette noted a recent study commissioned by the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers and conducted by independent scientists at the Center
for Aquatic Conservation at the University of Notre Dame identified the Chicago
Waterway as a "major pathway" for the spread of invasive species, concluding
that "the canal represents a potential highway to environmental havoc for many
species that pose a high risk to both the Great Lake and the Mississippi
In addition to his ongoing legal efforts to combat
the threat of Asian carp, in September 2011, Schuette organized a national
coalition of 17 attorneys general who urged Congress to act on a legislative
solution to the threat posed by invasive species traveling through the Chicago
Waterways. The coalition called on congressional leaders to support the Stop
Asian Carp Act, introduced earlier this year by sponsors Representative Dave
Camp (R-MI) (H.R. 892) and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) (S.471).
here to view a copy of the Petition for a Writ of Certiorari