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House Passes Bill with Lipinski Provisions to Help Stop Asian Carp Threat and Restore Bubbly Creek

The House of Representatives has passed the final version of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2018, which contains a number of key provisions led by Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) that will help stop the threat of Asian Carp to the Great Lakes and facilitate the restoration of Bubbly Creek in Chicago.  Overall, the bill reauthorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to improve and maintain America’s vital inland water infrastructure and ports, providing good-paying jobs and boosting both the region’s and the country’s economy.  

As Illinois’ most senior member on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Lipinski was able to include an amendment in the bill that addresses the Asian Carp problem that poses a serious threat to the Great Lakes ecosystem.  The legislation sets the federal share of the cost at 80% for the installation of new technology at Brandon Road to block the carp, which will allow Illinois to continue its leadership role as the Army Corp’s non-federal project partner in Asian Carp mitigation activities.  In addition, the amendment contains a provision that directs the Army Corps to consult with the Governor of Illinois before changes are made.  A separate amendment to the bill was adopted which directs the Army Corps to expedite completion of the Brandon Road study.

The final bill also includes an amendment authored by Rep. Lipinski that calls for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to enter into an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency to move forward with ecosystem restoration activities at the South Fork of the South Branch of the Chicago River, commonly known as Bubbly Creek.  It has a history of pollution going back more than 100 years to the Union Stockyards.  Lipinski has already secured one million dollars for the restoration project.