Environmental Assessment, Permanent Electric Barrier I

Published June 18, 2013

Environmental Assessment, Permanent Barrier I, Lockport Pool, Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, Will County, Illinois, June 17, 2013.  Assessment with Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on the environment, of upgrading the existing electric Demonstration Barrier with electric Permanent Barrier I to deter the movement of Asian carp and other fish species from the Mississippi River to the Great Lakes Basin via the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.

A Public Review period was held April 2 to May 2, 2013 for the draft Environmental Assessment and draft FONSI, and comments were accepted until May 16,  2013.  The Corps considered all comments received and made appropriate revisions to the final Environmental Assessment in response.  All correspondence received during the review period can be found in Appendix EA-A of the linked PDF. The Corps determined that the proposed action would not have a significant adverse impact on the environment; therefore an Environmental Impact Statement was not prepared.  The FONSI was signed June 17, 2013. 

If you have any questions or wish to request additional information, please contact Mr. Gene Fleming, 312-846-5585, e-mail Eugene.J.Fleming@usace.army.mil or write to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 231 South LaSalle Street, Suite 1500, Chicago, Il. 60604; ATTN:  Planning Branch (Gene Fleming).

Currently, there are three electrical barriers: Demonstration Barrier, Barrier IIA and Barrier IIB.

The barriers are formed of steel electrodes that are secured to the bottom of the CSSC. The electrodes are connected to a raceway, consisting of electrical connections to a control building. Equipment in the control building generates a direct current pulse through the electrodes, creating an electric field in the water that discourages fish from crossing.

The Demonstration Barrier has been operational since 2002 and was rehabilitated in 2008, but it was designed and built with materials that were not intended for long-term use due to its demonstration status.

Permanent Barrier I will incorporate the lessons learned from the operation of the Demonstration Barrier, Barrier IIA, and Barrier IIB in its design to improve durability and effectiveness. It will be capable of generating higher voltages and work in concert with Barriers IIA and IIB.

The mechanical components that make up the barriers need to be maintained to properly function. Periodic shutdowns of the individual barriers are required in order to perform necessary tasks such as replacement of parts, tune-ups, cleaning, etc., therefore, multiple barriers are needed so at least one barrier can be active when other barriers are offline for maintenance.