Thursday, February 26, 2009

EPA Administrator Jackson Greets Great Lakes Commission

Feb 24: U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson addressed the semiannual meeting of the Great Lakes Commission (GLC) as part of Great Lakes Day on February 24, at the Madison Hotel in Washington, DC. She said, "As the Great Lakes go, so goes the national policy as to water.” Jackson noted that President Barack Obama established his commitment to Great Lakes protection early in his campaign and continues to demonstrate that commitment through such legislative vehicles as the American Recovery Act, the recently passed stimulus bill. She said, “We look at the Act as extremely important to restoring infrastructure." She indicated that, “Removal of persistent toxins is really necessary,” she said. “It is expensive and takes a lot of time but we will continue.” The administrator pledged to work to reverse the previous Administration to increase funding to clean up Areas of Concern.

With an underlying theme at the meeting of environmental restoration of the Great Lakes as an economic development strategy, Commission Chair and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn exhorted the Commission member states and Canadian provinces to maximize the potential of the lakes to lure new business and investment. Among actions taken by the Commission were resolutions endorsing reauthorization of the Coastal Zone Management Act, supporting reform of the Harbor Maintenance Tax and Trust Fund, and supporting the American Wind Energy Association’s upcoming Windpower Conference in Chicago.

Access an announcement from GLC (click here). Access an overview and resolutions from the GLC Semiannual Meeting (click here). Access a summary of GLC recommendations to Congress (click here). Access a two-part video of Jackson's presentation to the GLC on the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition website (click here).