Coalition Opposes Funding Bill that Guts Great Lakes Programs

The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition today announced its strong opposition to a House spending bill that guts programs to restore the Great Lakes and prevent sewage contamination. The bill also contains a laundry list of harmful policy riders that undermine the nation’s efforts to restore the Great Lakes and all our nation’s great waters, protect water quality, and prevent the introduction of aquatic invasive species. 

Read the press release here.

Said Jeff Skelding of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition:

“This bill is bad for the Great Lakes and the millions of people who depend on them for their drinking water, jobs, and way of life. This bill will not save the nation one penny. Problems like sewage contamination and invasive species are getting worse. Cutting restoration now will make the problems harder and more costly to solve. We urge the Great Lakes Congressional delegation and the U.S. House to reject this bill, go back to the drawing board, and pass a bill that supports successful restoration programs.”

The Fiscal Year 2012 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill decimates programs that millions of people depend on to ensure clean water for drinking, public health, recreation, and quality of life. For example, the bill:

  • Slashes funding to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to clean up toxic pollution, restore habitat, and control and prevent invasive species;
  • Guts funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund, which helps communities modernize wastewater infrastructure to prevent sewage overflows which contribute to beach closures;
  • Threatens funding to states that have acted to protect the Great Lakes from invasive species introduced by ballast water discharge; and;
  • Rolls back clean water protections by prohibiting the EPA from doing its job to uphold the Clean Water Act.

The coalition is urging the U.S. House of Representatives to oppose the bill, which could come up for a vote as early as this weekend. The House Appropriations Committee passed the bill last week.

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