USA: Senators Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Great Lakes

A group of Great Lakes senators introduced bipartisan legislation to authorize a comprehensive array of programs to protect the Great Lakes.

The Great Lakes Ecological and Economic Protection Act would address invasive species, speed cleanup of contaminated sediments, protect fragile Great Lakes habitat and improve water quality for the 30 million Americans who get their drinking water from the Great Lakes.

The lead sponsors of the bill are Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., co-chairs of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force. Additional sponsors are Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.; Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill.; Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.; Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.; and Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.

“The Great Lakes are essential to the health, safety and economic prospects of millions of people in Michigan and the entire region,Sen. Levin said. “But toxic contamination, invasive species such as Asian carp, fouled coastlines and compromised habitats present an enormous challenge that requires sustained, coordinated effective action – action our legislation is designed to spur.

“Protecting the Great Lakes means preventing the spread of invasive species, the dumping of harmful pollutants, and ensuring they remain a clean source of drinking water for 30 million Americans,” said Sen. Kirk. “The Great Lakes economy supports over 1.5 million jobs, and I am proud to join Senator Levin in introducing this bill to improve the quality of the Great Lakes for future generations.”

The bill is similar to legislation Levin and Kirk introduced in 2012.

Press Release, June 27, 2013

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