Yesterday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published Egan's report, "Bulk of $15 Billion Plan Not Directly Tied to Stopping Asian Carp." The Journal Sentinel says it is "the first of a continuing series of stories" while Egan is at Marquette and "investigating threats to the Great Lakes and the effectiveness of government efforts to protect them."
Egan writes in the story that "buried within" a 10,000-page study the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently released about the Great Lakes, "and teased out in interviews with agency staff and legal experts" are "some controversial – if not inaccurate – interpretations of federal and state water laws are driving much of the project's astronomical costs and epic timeline." Here, the newspaper reports, is the larger problem he is focusing on while based at Marquette:
"It seemed like a great idea at the time. Blast a canal to artificially link Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River-bound Des Plaines River, and Chicago could instantly solve its drinking water and sewage treatment problems. The canal reversed the flow of the sewage-carrying Chicago River, sucking the Windy City's waste toward the Gulf of Mexico and guaranteeing city residents a safe drinking water source in Lake Michigan. Today the canal is recognized as a prime pathway for unwanted species such as Asian carp to colonize the Great Lakes. But the canal is also trouble for rest of the continent, as ecologically devastating Great Lakes invaders such as zebra mussels—which entered through the St. Lawrence Seaway in the ballast tanks of ocean freighters—have used it to fan out across the rest of America."