(WASHINGTON, D.C.)—Five states including Ohio today requested that the United States Supreme Court grant review of a district court’s denial of their motion for a preliminary injunction in the states’ invasive species lawsuit. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and four other attorneys general filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari requesting the Court “grant review and reverse to abate an imminent threat to one of the most precious freshwater ecosystems in the world.”
“It is of vital importance that the federal government act to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes before it is too late. The cost of potential damage to Lake Erie’s wildlife, ecological systems, and commercial fishing industry is too great,” said Attorney General DeWine.
Invasive species are species of plants and animals not native to a particular habitat. When introduced to new habitats, they can cause extensive damage to the existing ecosystem. Asian carp are believed to have entered the Mississippi River during flooding more than a decade ago and have since been extending their habitat northward.
In the district court, the states are seeking a preliminary injunction requiring the federal government to develop a permanent ecological separation between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River basins, specifically at the Chicago Area Waterway System. A recent study commissioned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers identified the canal as the major pathway for the spread of invasive species. The Corps released a list of 40 aquatic invasive species with the highest risk of traveling through the waterway; 30 are high-risk to the Mississippi River Basin, and ten, including Asian carp, are high-risk to the Great Lakes Basin.
As a United States Senator, DeWine introduced both the National Aquatic Invasive Species Act and the Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act to address invasive species attacking Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes. In addition to the lawsuit, DeWine has formed a coalition with 17 other states’ attorneys general who are requesting that Congress hold hearings on the requested ecological separation and that the federal government accelerate its review of the matter.
Lisa Hackley: 614-466-3840
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Petition for Writ of Certiorari (PDF)