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Price tag for Great Lakes Asian carp plan: $18-billion

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News) A new report says it would take up to 25 years and $18-billion to create a permanent solution to keep the Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.

The Army Corps of Engineers gave Congress eight options yesterday without recommending any of them. Two proposals would create dams in Chicago's waterway system, to close the connection between the carp-infested Mississippi River and Lake Michigan. Wisconsin and four other states unsuccessfully asked the courts to break off the connection, which Chicago officials say would cut off commercial activity to their region. The Corps' other options include more and larger electronic barriers, and a new type of navigational lock that treats water to remove floating fish while still letting vessels through.

The Corps reviewed the options since 2009. The study would have continued until 2015, had Congress not demanded that the review be done faster.

U-S Senator Debbie Stabenow and Congressman Dave Camp, both of Michigan, said the Corps should have picked one option and examined it more thoroughly. The Corps said it did what Congress ordered -- and they stand ready to work on whatever solution comes out of Washington.

The Corps plans a series of public hearings on its conclusions. One hearing will take place next Monday from 4-to-7 p-m at Milwaukee Area Technical College.

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