Army Corps Says Chicago River's Not Closing

Any discussions are in "what if" stages

By Anthony Ponce
|  Thursday, Mar 4, 2010  |  Updated 9:45 AM CDT
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Killer Carp In Hiding

AP

River traffic passes through a section of water containing an electric fish barrier in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2009 in Romeoville, Ill. A toxic chemical is to be dumped Wednesday on a nearly 6-mile stretch of the canal as part of state and federal efforts to keep the voracious and invasive Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes. The fish toxin rotenone will be spread Wednesday evening near adjacent Lockport, Ill. Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Stacey Solano said. After about eight hours, sometime Thursday morning, the carcasses of about 200,000 pounds of dead fish will surface in the canal, she said. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

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What you talking 'bout?

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers disputes a report from the Chicago Tribune that plans are in the works to close the Chicago River four days per week to combat the spread of Asian Carp.

"We're not looking at any lock closures in a vacuum," Army Corps spokeswoman Lynn Whelan said.  "It's not going to be a quick decision. It's going to be part of a longer review process."

The Tribune reported Tuesday morning the Corps laid out three scenarios in which the locks would be closed to boats and barges and may recommend the closures by April 1st. 

There are no scenarios, according to Whelan, and the issue is still in the study phase. She said any discussion about closing waterways is still in the "what if" stages.  She also says there is no time frame.
 
"We're looking at all of the options, all of the tools within our authority," Whelan said. "We operate the barrier and locks.  We're working with the EPA, Fish & Wildlife, IDNR, and everyone is taking a look within their respective authorites what we can do and how can we put it all together."

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