Sen. Casey Calls for Continuation of Emergency Measures to Protect Great Lakes from Asian Carp

- U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called for the continuation of emergency measures in the upcoming appropriations bill that will allow the Army Corps to continue mitigation efforts against Asian Carp in the Great Lakes.

In a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee, Casey cited the economic impact that Asian Carp has had on the Great Lakes region and the danger it poses to Northwestern Pennsylvania in making the case for keeping and enhancing emergency mitigation efforts.

The letter to the Appropriations Committee was joined by 10 Senators.

“The emergency measures included in last year’s bill were a step in the right direction.

It’s critical that this upcoming appropriations bill maintain and enhance those efforts,” Senator Casey said.

“The health of the Great Lakes is critical to economic growth and job creation throughout Northwestern Pennsylvania.

Combating Asian Carp is essential to the tourism that our region attracts on a yearly basis.”

The full text of the Senators’ letter is below :

The Honorable Dianne Feinstein
Subcommittee on Energy & Water Development
Committee on Appropriations
United States Senate
Dirksen Building, Room 184
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Lamar Alexander
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Energy & Water Development
Committee on Appropriations
United States Senate
Dirksen Building, Room 188
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Chairman Feinstein and Ranking Member Alexander:

As members of the Great Lakes delegation, we ask that you add language to the Energy and Water Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2015 (FY2015) so that the Army Corps of Engineers can continue to implement emergency measures to stop the spread of invasive species in the Great Lakes.

Thank you for your past support of this request, and we hope you can again provide assistance this year.

We urge the Committee to extend the Corps of Engineers’ emergency authority to prevent the transfer of aquatic invasive species into the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River Basin through FY2015.

We also ask the Committee to clarify, as was done in the FY2014 appropriations bill, that the emergency authority for the Corps is not limited to the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, but by way of any hydrologic connection between the two basins. (Corps of Engineers-Civil, General Provisions)

The Great Lakes support a $7 billion fishing industry that provides hundreds of thousands of jobs.

More than five million people fish in the Great Lakes annually, and both commercial and charter fishing is vital to the economic health of Great Lakes communities.

Keeping invasive species, including the destructive Asian Carp, out of the Great Lakes is critical to the health of the lakes and the jobs they support.

Congress provided authority to the Corps of Engineers in FY2014 (in Section 105 of the appropriations bill) to implement certain emergency measures to prevent Asian carp and other aquatic nuisance species from entering the Great Lakes.

We ask you to again extend this authority through FY2015, as described in the attached proposed bill language.

It is critical the Corps has the authority to address any emergency situation including those outside the Chicago area at other hydrologic connections between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins.

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