Thursday, November 15, 2012

Groups Highlight Fiscal Cliff Impact On Great Lakes Programs

Nov 14: Drawing attention as to why the so-called "Fiscal Cliff" issue [See WIMS 11/8/12] is important to environmental programs, a number of Great Lakes advocates are urging the nation's leaders to hold the line against cuts to successful programs that are restoring the Lakes, the source of drinking water for 30 million people.
    Jeff Skelding, campaign director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition (HOW) said, "President Obama's support for Great Lakes programs has been invaluable, and we challenge him to maintain his commitment to the Lakes. Congressional support has been equally important. Our message to Congress: Do not let up now. Restoration projects are producing results -- but there's more to do. We look forward to working with leaders of both parties to maintain the nation's commitment to the Great Lakes to protect our drinking water, jobs, public health and way of life."
    The groups, which also include Alliance for the Great Lakes and the National Parks Conservation Association indicate that unless the U.S. Congress and Obama Administration forge a budget deal by January 1, key Great Lakes programs face mandatory 8.2 percent cuts through a process called "sequestration." The reductions due to sequestration are on top of other potential budget cuts, threatening core clean water programs. They point out that based on fiscal year 2012 levels, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative would be cut by $25 million, from $300 million to $275 million. The Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund -- which helps communities fix old sewers -- would be cut by $120 million, from $1.47 billion to $1.35 billion. By formula, the Great Lakes states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin would lose approximately $44 million.
    Access a release from HOW with more information (click here). Access a fact sheet on the impact of sequestration on Great Lakes programs (click here).
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Invaluable" to Asian carp propagation as a new Asian carp food processing plant in the President Obama's home state of Illinois awaits Federal funds that will require the continued propagation of carp to be sustainable, while using Federal money for experimental electronic barriers to control their expansion forward into the Great Lakes, along with the commander and chief leading a weak military national ballast water standard with a long timeline, that exempts ships used exclusively on the Great Lakes, and is leaving all American waters at risk, by creating the benchmark to be used by foreign ships dumping pathogens and virus in American waters for decades to come. I would hate to see what is consider not valuable as policy.