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Supreme Court again refuses to close Chicago locks

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network



The U.S. Supreme Court has refused for a second time Michigan's request to shut down two Chicago-area shipping locks that connect the Mississippi River system to the Great Lakes. Michigan argued emergency action is needed to ensure the invasive Asian carp does not escape into Lake Michigan.

Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox argued that closing the locks is the only way to ensure the Asian carp does not escape into Lake Michigan now that it's infested the Mississippi River system. Experts say a carp invasion would ravage the Great Lakes fishing industry as well as the environment.

John Selleck is the attorney general's spokesman. He says Cox is disappointed, but looking ahead. The next step is for the court to rule on whether it will decide on a permanent solution to the Asian carp threat. The court meets again April 16.

"Our sense is that they may be looking toward a longer-term fix to the problem as opposed to a quick short-term one," he says. "In any event, we're going to keep fighting forward."

Selleck says the best solution would be a complete physical separation of Lake Michigan from the Mississippi River system.

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