The American Waterways Operators (AWO) hailed the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to keep the Illinois Waterway System locks open for the free flow of commerce. The Court rejected a petition brought by the State of Michigan and other Great Lakes states against the State of Illinois that sought a preliminary injunction to close the locks to prevent Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan. U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan had argued that closing the locks was not justified by available science and would not provide a solution to the Asian carp issue, since there are other outlets through which the fish can gain access to the Great Lakes.
AWO submitted an affidavit on January 6, 2010 as part of Illinois’ response to the Michigan suit. The affidavit set out the case for the devastating impact that closing the locks would have on the barge industry and the Midwest economy, environment, jobs, public safety and quality of life by preventing millions of tons of commodities from being shipped by barge to and from Great Lakes ports.