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Presentation To DEP Citizens Advisory Council Highlights Asian Carp Threat

DEPs Citizens Advisory Council Tuesday heard presentations on several environmental issues facing Pennsylvania, including the threat posed by the invasive species Asian Carp, the lack of drinking water well standards, a study highlighting the impact of longwall mining on streams and an update on investigating lower Susquehanna River water quality problems.

            Dr. Tim Schaeffer, Director of Policy and Planning at the Fish and Boat Commission, told the Council it was not a question of if, but probably when, Asian Carp are found in Pennsylvania waters if strong steps are not taken to prevent their entry into the Commonwealth.  Click Here for a copy of his presentation.

He said Asian carp have had a devastating impact in the Mississippi River system and now pose this threat to the Great Lakes basin. As AIS species, these fish do not naturally occur in Pennsylvania waters and would only occur if transported and released.

These carp species are a threat due to there large size (some can grow to more than 100 pounds and five feet in length), reproductive success, habitat damage and large, year-round food consumption. In additon, silver carp, when startled, can jump up to 10 feet out of the water striking boaters, causing severe injury.

Schaeffer said in rivers where Asian Carp have taken hold up to 80 percent of the biomass of the aquatic environment is made up of these invasive species which would destroy much of the progress the state and watershed groups have made in restoring Pennsylvania streams.

In addition to the presentations, the Council took action to support DEP’s proposed draft final regulation setting sulfur limits for heating oil.

Walliser Re-elected As Chair

The Council also re-elected John Walliser, PA Environmental Council, as Chair and Burt Waite, Moody & Associates, Inc., as Vice Chair.

Annual Report

The 2011 Annual Report on Council activities was also made available recapping its accomplishments last year.

The next meeting of the Council is scheduled for October 16 at 11:00 in Room 105 of the Rachel Carson Building, Harrisburg.

For more information, visit the DEP Citizens Advisory Council webpage.


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