Tuesday, November 18, 2008

GLC Urges Stimulus Funding For Great Lakes Infrastructure

Nov 18: The Great Lakes Commission (GLC) is urging Congress to include funding for critical Great Lakes infrastructure needs in the economic stimulus package currently being developed. In correspondence sent this week to the Great Lakes Congressional delegation, newly elected Commission Chairman, Illinois Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn stated that, “now, more than ever, we have an opportunity to create jobs, stimulate economic development and protect and restore fresh water resources in the eight-state Great Lakes region.”

Recognizing the severe economic downturn affecting the Great Lakes region, Lt. Gov. Quinn emphasized that the Great Lakes are a vital economic asset for the region. The Commission highlighted four critical areas where the economic stimulus package could support large-scale infrastructure projects that can be implemented in 2009 to stimulate job growth and strengthen the regional economy.

Projects areas outlined included: Repair and upgrade failing wastewater infrastructure by providing $6.5 billion to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, with $2.4 billion for the eight Great Lakes states; Implement toxic sediment cleanup projects by providing $250 million for the Great Lakes Legacy Act; Begin construction of a new large lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan with $100 million for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; and Eliminate the backlog in dredging Great Lakes ports, navigation channels and recreational harbors by providing $125 million to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Access a release from GLC with further details and link to the complete letter (click here).