Statewide Public Advisory Council Releases "Action Agenda" for
Cleaning Up Michigan's Great Lakes Areas of Concern
State legislators urge full use of federal funding for Great Lakes cleanup efforts
Complete Action Agenda available online at http://www.glc.org/spac/
The Statewide Public Advisory Council for Michigan's Areas of Concern program has released its new Action Agenda for Restoring Michigan's Great Lakes Toxic Hot Spots, a series of strategic priorities for cleaning up Michigan’s 14 Areas of Concern. The Action Agenda was formally released last week during a series of meetings with state legislators in Lansing.
The Action Agenda highlights important opportunities for accelerating progress in restoring Michigan's most degraded water bodies. In particular, the Council is emphasizing substantial new federal funding that is being invested in the Areas of Concern. This includes $10 million available now under the Great Lakes Legacy Act for cleaning up contaminated sediments and $45 million proposed in next year's EPA budget, as well as a proposed doubling of federal funding for the Great Lakes states to administer the Areas of Concern program.
In order to fully exploit these and other opportunities, the Statewide Public Advisory Council is calling on Governor Granholm, the Department of Environmental Quality, the state legislature and local agencies to support the following strategic priorities for cleaning up Michigan's 14 Great Lakes Areas of Concern:
The Action Agenda document discusses these strategic priorities in detail and is available on the Council's web site at http://www.glc.org/spac/.
The Council members met with more than 50 members of the state legislature to present the Action Agenda and called for a concerted state effort to address priorities for cleaning up Michigan's Great Lakes Areas of Concern. The legislators were unanimous in their desire to fully exploit all available federal funding for cleaning up the Areas of Concern and invited the Statewide Public Advisory Council to recommend specific legislative language to facilitate this. In response, the Council is working with legislative staff and the DEQ to develop legislation that will elevate the priority of the Areas of Concern program and ensure the DEQ has the capacity and direction to maximize federal funding for Great Lakes restoration efforts in Michigan.
The Statewide Public Advisory Council has also produced a new resource - Frequently Asked Questions about Michigan's Great Lakes Areas of Concern Program. This document provides answers to basic questions about the Areas of Concern program, including its history; how it is funded and administered; major environmental problems being addressed; the process to formally "delist" areas; and how the Clean Michigan Initiative and Great Lakes Legacy Act are supporting cleanup efforts. The new "FAQ" document also provides a list of key federal, state and local contacts for each of Michigan's 14 Areas of Concern and sources for additional information. The document is available from the Council's website at http://www.glc.org/spac/.
The Council and its partners in the local public advisory councils are also urging Michigan's Congressional delegation, and key Congressional committees, to appropriate funding for Areas of Concern cleanup efforts.
Questions or comments on the Council's Action Agenda and related activities can be directed to Matt Doss with the Council's support staff at the Great Lakes Commission at 734-971-9135, firstname.lastname@example.org. Copies of the Council's Action Agenda and Frequently Asked Questions documents are available upon request.