Fight for federal Great Lakes funding heating up

Jun 14, 2017
Originally published on June 13, 2017 3:20 pm

Environmentalists and their allies in Congress are stepping up their efforts to fight proposed cuts to federal Great Lakes funding and the EPA budget.

President Trump proposed deep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget, as well as effectively eliminating federal money for Great Lakes restoration projects.  The Trump budget would shift the financial burden of maintaining the Great Lakes onto the eight states in the region.     

“When Donald Trump and (EPA administrator) Scott Pruitt propose a budget that zeroes out the Great Lakes and threatens the very existence of the EPA here in the Midwest, it is crystal clear they do not value our (Great) Lakes,” said the Sierra's Club Jack Darin. 

Darin is particularly concerned that oversight of Midwest EPA programs could move from Chicago to Kansas City or Washington D.C.

Environmental groups are hoping to generate public pressure on Congress, which is reviewing the president’s budget proposal. They’re hoping Great Lakes governors and members of Congress will lobby for more funding, not less, in the next federal budget.

Michigan Congressman Dan Kildee (D-Flint) said it’s important to “elevate the conversation.”

“So that people back home understand that this is a real threat. That will result in much more communication with their members of Congress,” said Kildee.

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