Great Lakes Commission applauds inclusion of Great Lakes provisions in water infrastructure legislation
Ann Arbor, Mich. – The Great Lakes Commission (GLC) sent a letter to Great Lakes Senators supporting provisions in America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (S.2800), Senate legislation that strengthens important Great Lakes programs and addresses critical challenges to upgrade and maintain water infrastructure across the eight-state Great Lakes region.
The bill increases the authorized funding level for the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Act and for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative; authorizes the Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study, which will recommend actions to protect the Great Lakes from threats such as lake level fluctuations, erosion, flooding, and nutrient runoff; and calls for the completion of a key decision document for construction of a new lock at the Soo Locks complex, which connects Lake Superior to the lower Great Lakes and is a vital link in the Great Lakes maritime transportation system.
“Nearly $10 billion is needed annually over the next two decades for water infrastructure in the eight Great Lakes states,” said John Linc Stine, chair of the GLC and commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. “The Great Lakes provisions in S. 2800 will help address our region’s most pressing water-related challenges while committing to the protection and restoration of the lakes. We thank Chairman Barrasso and Ranking Member Carper for their leadership in advancing this legislation.”
The GLC also expressed support for the water infrastructure provisions in S. 2800 that reauthorize and strengthen existing programs, study new approaches, and promote reforms and best practices to support states and local communities in repairing, maintaining and upgrading wastewater, drinking water and stormwater infrastructure. These provisions will support state and local efforts, increase federal investments and improve access to federal programs, and are consistent with the GLC’s 2017 Joint Action Plan for Clean Water Infrastructure and Services, which recommended actions to advance a more sustainable water infrastructure system for the Great Lakes region.
The Senate legislation advances the GLC’s 2018 federal priorities, which call on Congress and the Administration to take actions to protect and leverage the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River as vital economic and environmental assets for the eight-state, two-province region.
To read the letter, click here.
The Great Lakes Commission, led by chairman John Linc Stine, commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, is an interstate compact agency established under state and U.S. federal law and dedicated to promoting a strong economy, healthy environment and high quality of life for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region and its residents. The Commission consists of governors’ appointees, state legislators, and agency officials from its eight member states. Associate membership for Ontario and Québec was established through the signing of a “Declaration of Partnership.” The Commission maintains a formal Observer program involving U.S. and Canadian federal agencies, tribal authorities, binational agencies and other regional interests. The Commission offices are located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Learn more at www.glc.org.