Supreme Court blocks closing of Chicago locks


The U.S. Supreme Court refused Tuesday to order Chicago-area waterway locks closed, according to the Great Lakes Boating Federation.

Michigan attorney general Mike Cox filed a petition in December, asking the Supreme Court to force Illinois, the Army Corp of Engineers and Chicago's Water Reclamation district to at least temporarily close the locks between Illinois' waterways and Lake Michigan.

All the other Great Lakes states - Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania and the Canadian province of Ontario - supported Michigan's legal action, which also asked that long-term action be taken to permanently separate Illinois' carp-infested waterways from the Great Lakes watershed.

Officials from Michigan and Wisconsin are now requesting that the White House hold a summit on the issue and the Great Lakes Boating Federation is calling for a public hearing for all of the regional stakeholders to express their opinions.

"The U.S. Supreme Court's decision not to be hasty in the Chicago locks closure brings a sigh of relief to the 7,000 Chicagoland boaters," federation chairman F. Ned Dickmen said in a statement

"No setbacks are foreseen in the fast-approaching spring migration from the storage facilities on the river to Lake Michigan. Boaters remain committed to the fight to keep the Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes and for the safe means to keep the locks open," he added.

Click here for a New York Times article on the issue.

Click here for an article on Asian carp DNA being found in Lake Michigan for the first time.