Thursday, April 28, 2011

HOW Coalition Praises Administration Water Framework

Apr 27: The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition (HOW) issued a release commenting on the Obama Administration release of its National Clean Water Framework which included what the Administration called "unprecedented attention to restoring iconic places like the Chesapeake Bay, California Bay-Delta, Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico and Everglades, investing in action and helping states, local governments and stakeholders find pollution control solutions that are tailored to their specific needs." [See WIMS 4/27/11].
    In their release, HOW indicated that the Framework was ". . .a strong affirmation of the Clean Water Act [that] proposed new instructions to federal agencies on how to interpret parts of the law in light of two Supreme Court decisions that essentially had stripped away protections from many U.S. water bodies, including those that play an integral role in the health of the Great Lakes. The actions by the Obama Administration represent a big step forward in the effort to restore the Great Lakes and protect water quality, public health, and recreational opportunities for millions of people in the region and across the country.

    Jeff Skelding, campaign manager for HOW said, "President Obama's investment to restore the Great Lakes is already producing results, and we expect that today's action will only bolster efforts to protect one of this country's most iconic waters—one that supplies drinking water to more than 30 million people. We encourage the Obama Administration to urgently move to implement a final rule that restores Clean Water Act protections to waters that millions of people in the Great Lakes region and across the country depend on for their drinking water, public health and recreational opportunities."

    Access the release from HOW (click here). Access a release from the White House Council on Environmental Quality (click here). Access the Obama Administration's Clean Water Framework (click here). Access the draft Clean Water Act guidance from U.S. EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with supporting documents and commenting instructions (click here).

Great Lakes Interbasin Study Newsletter & Updates

Apr 27: The Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS) issued its first newsletter on the GLMRIS activities. Among other items, the newsletter reports on the recently completed Study National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) public scoping period ran from November 16, 2010 through March 31, 2011. The newsletter also reports on Interim Products and Other Recent Milestones. GLMRIS also announced recently that additional transcripts from scoping meetings are available for Cleveland (Jan. 13, 2011), Minneapolis (Jan. 20, 2011) and Green Bay (Jan. 25, 2011).
    The GLMRIS is being conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), in consultation with other federal agencies, Native American tribes, state agencies, local governments and other to explore options and technologies, collectively known as aquatic nuisance species (ANS), including Asian Carp, controls that could be applied to prevent ANS transfer between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins through aquatic pathways.
    Access the GLMRIS newsletter (click here). Access the available transcript (click here). Access the GLMRIS website for complete background and the latest information (click here).

Cities Initiative Gets Responses To Great Lakes Questionnaire

Apr 27: The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (GLSLC) released the results of a questionnaire on the Future of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence which it sent to Canadian political parties before the May 2nd elections. According to a release, four of five of Canada's political leaders pledged to take concrete action to protect the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence, the largest source of fresh water in the world. Denis Lapointe, GLSLC chairman and mayor of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Qu├ębec said, "We are very pleased with the results of our Election 2011 questionnaire. The political commitments made towards the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence show true leadership in protecting this priceless environmental and economic resource".
    The Liberal Party of Canada, the New Democratic Party of Canada, the Green Party of Canada and the Bloc Quebecois responded to a questionnaire prepared by GLSLC, a bi-national coalition of mayors representing over thirteen million people, concerned with the protection, restoration and promotion of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Basin. No response was received from the Conservative Party of Canada.
    Access links to the release, the questionnaire, the responses and a summary of responses (click here).