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Health, Science and Environment

State and Canadian officials expected to meet in Illinois to discuss plan to stop Asian Carp

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Eight states and two Canadian provinces are expected to meet this week to discuss the Army Corps of Engineer’s proposal for keeping Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes.

The meeting will be the first of many, aimed at negotiating funding and logistics for the project. The plan involves a suite of barriers at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Illinois. The Army Corps of Engineers puts the price tag for that plan at $830-million. The federal government will pick up part of that cost with non-federal partners -  including states - expected to fund 35%.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has pledged $2.5 million for engineering and design. Governor Gretchen Whitmer has said $8 million appropriated last year by the legislature under Governor Snyder remains available for the project.

Dr. Tammy Newcomb is with the Michigan DNR. She said the first phase of work will cost between $8 -10 million dollars over three years.

“This meeting will be in Illinois, in Chicago, to talk about what does this partnership look like and who can contribute what,” Newcomb said.

According to Newcomb there is currently a lot of uncertainty about project costs - which is why the projected construction costs are so high.

“As the Corps moves through the first phase of project engineering and design it is very likely that overall cost is going to come down,” she said.

Newcomb said this week states and provinces are expected to begin discussions about the project and how each member will support it.

She said this first meeting is likely going to be spent getting members on the same page.

In the interest of transparency, we note the DNR is a financial supporter of WCMU