Monday, July 22, 2013

Great Lakes Ecological & Economic Protection Bills

Jul 22: The Great Lakes Commission (GLC) issued a release commending the introduction of a House bill that authorizes several critical Great Lakes restoration programs and strengthens regional coordination and binational cooperation with Canada. The Great Lakes Ecological and Economic Protection Act (GLEEPA) was introduced by U.S. Representative Dave Joyce (R-OH). The bill is virtually identical to a Senate bill (S.1232) introduced on June 26, by Senator Carl Levin, et al, with the exception that it authorizes the Great Lakes Legacy Act at $100 million annually versus $150 million in the Senate bill. GLC gratefully acknowledges Rep. Joyce's leadership on the legislation and urges members of the House Great Lakes delegation to sign on as co-sponsors of the bill. Other members joining Rep. Joyce in introducing the bill include Reps. John Dingell (D-MI), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Tom Petri (R-WI), Sander Levin (D-MI), and Candice Miller (R-MI).

    GLC Chair Kenneth Johnson, water division administrator at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said, "This legislation will advance programs that are vital to the environmental and economic well-being of the entire region. GLEEPA will ensure that these valuable programs continue to protect and restore our Great Lakes and support our freshwater investment strategy." The bill formally authorizes the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI); reauthorize the Great Lakes Legacy Act; establish an Interagency Task Force to coordinate federal Great Lakes programs and a Great Lakes Advisory Board; and authorizes U.S. EPA's Great Lakes National Program Office.

    Access a release from GLC on the House bill (click here); and the Senate bill (click here). Access the S.1232 (click here). [GLakes]

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