SPRINGFIELD, IL – Today, Representative Pete Visclosky (D-IN) introduced legislation that would require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a thorough analysis of the flow of commerce and commercial activity through the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS) prior to undertaking any major legislative action on the part of the federal government to address the presence of Asian carp.
“The Chicago Locks are a vital commercial shipping pathway in the region to the tune of $29 billion annually and, thankfully, this group of legislators understands the economic impact they have on the region,” said Kay Nelson, Director, Environmental Affairs at Northwest Indiana Forum. “Many remain determined to close the locks and encourage separation of the Mississippi from the Great Lakes by completely overlooking the true economic and flooding consequences that such action would spur.”
Specifically, the proposed study would look at the economic impacts of the Chicago Locks and evaluate the negative effects of federal action on jobs and public or private property, including flooding or other changes to water drainage patterns. Additionally, the legislation requires the Corps to allow for public input to ensure that communities, individuals and businesses may voice specific concerns.
Co-sponsors of the bill include Representatives Judy Biggert (R-IL), Larry Bucshon (R-IN), Dan Burton (R-IN), Andre Carson (D-IN), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Randy Hultgren (R-IL), Mike Pence (R-IN), Todd Rokita (R-IN), Marlin Stutzman (R-IN), and Todd Young (R-IN).
To speak with Kay Nelson or other UnLock Our Jobs experts, please contact Lisa Burgess at [email protected].
UnLock Our Jobs is a coalition dedicated to protecting the essential waterway connection between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River corridor. A project of the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois, coalition members represent agriculture, business, labor, river communities, and concerned citizens working towards a comprehensive solution to stop the spread of Asian Carp, while leaving the Chicago locks open to commerce.