As reported earlier on this site, the U.S. House Interior and EPA spending bill contains an egregious provision that undermines Great Lakes restoration, hurts state economies and sets back the national effort to stop the influx of harmful invasive species into the Lake and other U.S. waters.
The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition sent a letter signed by 81 member groups opposing the provision, which would strip states like New York of all EPA funding for enacting laws that are more protective than ineffective national standards. For states like Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin, that amounts to losing tens of millions of dollars annually—not to mention losing ground in the effort to protect clean drinking water, prevent sewage contamination and clean up toxic pollution.
The letter states:
“State leadership has been, and will continue to be, a critical driver advancing the development of stronger standards and timelines, culminating in federal ballast water regulations that are both protective of state waters and unified across the nation. States are creating an urgency in which cutting-edge technologies are developed, verified and implemented for use. Today, we are at a crossroads in efforts to prevent aquatic invasive species introductions to our nation’s waters. As aquatic invasive species are very rarely eradicated, and extremely difficult to control, the cost incurred by more invasive species to taxpayers will be a growing burden the nation will carry forever.”
The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition is working to oppose the anti-Great Lakes provision—and the House Interior and EPA spending bill as a whole. The nation’s public officials can do better—and need to do better to protect the Great Lakes, one of the wonders of the world that more than 30 million people depend on for drinking water.