PA Joins 5 Other States in Suing Over Asian Carp

Asian Carp could possibly devastate Great Lakes fishing as it is today

HARRISBURG – Attorney General Tom Corbett today joined the Attorney Generals from Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin in a federal lawsuit against the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, seeking immediate action to prevent the spread of Asian Carp into the Great Lakes.

According to the lawsuit, the carp currently infest the Chicago Area Water System, operated by the Army Corps of Engineers and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, which links directly to Lake Michigan.

“The spread of this invasive, non-native species into the Great Lakes could have a major impact on every state surrounding the lakes – devastating native fish populations and potentially destroying the fishing and tourism industries for every state that borders the Great Lakes,” Corbett said.

The lawsuit, filed today in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, seeks a court order directing the Army Corps of Engineers and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago to take immediate and comprehensive action to minimize the risk that Asian Carp will migrate into the Great Lakes, and to plan and implement permanent measures that will physically separate the carp-infested waters in Illinois from Lake Michigan.

Corbett said that Pennsylvania has been working closely with Michigan and other concerned states to press for an effective response to this ecological threat.  The need for immediate action was made even more urgent by the discovery last month of an Asian Carp just six miles from Lake Michigan and beyond various barrier systems.

Corbett noted that the value of sport and commercial fishing in the Great Lakes, along with tourism and other related business activities is valued at more than $7 billion dollars per year – something that could be devastated if this species is allowed to infest the lakes.

“Any further delays in responding to this potential environmental and economic disaster are totally unacceptable,” Corbett said.  “I am committed to working together with my fellow Attorneys General to offer a strong voice in support of our states’ interests in this issue.

Corbett explained that the Office of Attorney General is representing Pennsylvania’s interests in the Asian Carp case because it is directly linked to legal actions dating to the early 1900’s regarding the waters of the Great Lakes, including a 1967 decree by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Attorney General’s Office represented the Commonwealth’s interests in those original cases and has been involved in reviewing related legal matters since that time.

Additional information about the threat posed by Asian Carp, along with the multi-state effort to address this issue, is available at

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