Lawmakers to probe Army Corps of Engineers report on invasive species Tuesday
By Jake Neher
State lawmakers want to know whether the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is inflating the cost and time it would take to keep invasive species out of the Great Lakes.
Army Corp officials will face questions from legislators Tuesday about a report it released last month. It says separating the lakes from the Mississippi River would take more than two decades and up to $18 billion to complete.
Many state officials and environmental groups say separating the two watersheds is the best way to prevent Asian carp and other species from moving into the Great Lakes.
"The timeframe that they put out was - I felt it was a little long," said state Sen. Geoff Hansen, R-Hart, who chairs the Senate Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Committee. "I mean, they're talking a 25 year timeframe for separation of the water bodies. So that's a concern."
"We can't wait a long time. This is something that is so important to the entire Great Lakes region that we have to have the discussion now, we have to get the fixes done now."
Critics of the Army Corps' study say it factors in projects that have little to do with preventing the spread of invasive species.