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Jenner & Block: Army Corps Proposes New Controls To Protect Great Lakes From Evasive Aquatic Species

   By E. Lynn Grayson, Partner, Jenner & Block

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) recently released an updated list of controls it has identified for preventing the transfer of aquatic nuisance species (ANS) between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River Basin.

In the Aquatic Nuisance Species of Concern White Paper, the USACE, in collaboration with our stakeholders, identified ANS of Concern and their corresponding organism types. These ANS of Concern and organism types were the initial focus of GLMRIS for the Chicago Area Waterway (CAWS). In the Inventory of Available Controls for Aquatic Nuisance Species of Concern - Chicago Area Waterway System (ANS Control Paper), USACE identified over 90 options and technologies available to prevent the transfer of these ANS of Concern-CAWS. In December 2010, USACE posted the original draft of this document for public comment. The comments on the ANS Control Paper are available for viewing.

As a part of the ongoing analysis, USACE, in collaboration with federal, state and local governmental agencies, refined the organism types warranting further consideration by GLMRIS to include fish, algae, crustaceans, and plants. Using the information provided in the ANS Control Paper, USACE identified which of the 90+ ANS Controls may be effective at preventing transfer through an aquatic pathway for these organism types in all life stages.

Through a screening and review process, USACE and governmental agencies and organizations refined the ANS Controls for fish, algae, crustaceans and plants. "Industrial biocides" that were not used commonly for conventional municipal drinking water or wastewater treatment were removed from further consideration. "Freezing," "Desiccation," "Hot Water Thermal Barrier" in the "Lethal Water Temperature" fact sheet and the ANS Controls identified in the "Benthic Barrier" fact sheet were also removed because all were deemed to be impracticable for continued effective application. USACE removed Rotenone Oral Delivery Platforms from further consideration because fish can smell the rotenone and therefore, the smell reduces the effectiveness. Researchers are now focusing on Antimycin A Oral Delivery Platforms. The Piscicides fact sheet has been updated. The remaining ANS Controls that may be effective at preventing the transfer through an aquatic pathway of algae, crustaceans, fish and plants in all life stages are presented below.

USACE is requesting comments on this information through February 21, 2013. USACE is seeking:

1.  Information on ANS Controls that may be effective at preventing the transfer through the CAWS of fish, algae, crustaceans and plants in all life stages but are missing from the lists, or
2.  Comments regarding specific ANS Controls identified.

The recently released list of available controls is available at

Read more at Corporate Environmental Lawyer Blog by Jenner & Block LLP.

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