Electric Asian carp barrier clears committee

A bill instructing the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to contract for design work on an electric barrier at Lock and Dam No. 1 in St. Paul passed the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy committee Wednesday.

The bill as introduced by Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji, would have had the department install electric barriers at Lock and Dam No. 1 and on the Minnesota River in Mankato before April 2014.

The bill was amended Tuesday night to say the department must contract for design work rather than actually constructing a barrier, and only at the St. Paul location. Amendment author Rep. Tom Hackbarth, R-Cedar, said that without a design, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard can’t say whether they would approve an electric barrier.

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