Just hours after the Supreme Court issued its ruling denying Michigan’s motion for a preliminary injunction to take immediate action to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp, the federal government acknowledged that Asian carp DNA has now been found in Lake Michigan. In a letter to the Supreme Court, the Solicitor General stated that positive samples of Asian carp DNA have been found in the Calumet River and Calumet Harbor, past the Army Corps’ electric barrier which is supposed to be keeping the Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.
So with the Supreme Court refusing to order emergency measures through a preliminary injunction, and the feds admitting that more Asian carp DNA has already been found past the electric barriers, what’s next? On the legal front, Illinois and the United States must file briefs responding to Michigan’s petition to reopen the Wisconsin v. Illinois case by February 19, and a decision by the Court could then come soon after. On the political front, the chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality Nancy Sutley has responded to calls by Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle for a summit meeting, now planned for the first week of February. But as Gary Wilson points out on the Great Lakes Town Hall website, the key White House player on this issue should be Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, who until last year was a Chicago congressman representing a lakefront district. If Emmanuel is at the meeting, it’s a good sign that the White House is taking real leadership on this issue and is ready to direct all of the federal agencies (including the Army Corps of Engineers) to solve this problem.
Finally, here are some highlights of the media coverage this week, focusing on the Supreme Court’s order denying the preliminary injunction and the feds’ admission of more Asian carp DNA past the electric barriers: