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A U.S. Senate committee Thursday approved Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand’s measure authorizing the Army Corps of Engineers to take emergency steps if there’s an imminent threat of an Asian carp invasion of the Great Lakes.

The Environment and Public Works Committee included the measure in its reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act, which the panel sent to the full Senate for consideration.

The measure allows the corps to improve barriers between the Chicago waterway system and Lake Michigan, or to take other aggressive steps if the carp or other dangerous invasive species appear to be entering the lakes through other channels.

“The health of the Great Lakes and all of our waterways, ports and harbors is key to the health of our economy, and the health of our families,” said Gillibrand, D-N.Y. “The spread of Asian carp must be stopped before permanently disturbing the natural ecosystem.”