News From Congressman John D. Dingell
Serving Michigan's 15th Congressional District
NEWS RELEASE Contact: Michael Robbins
September 28, 2008 202/225-4071
Dingell Supports Passage of Great Lakes Legacy Reauthorization Act
Congressman Urges Greater Funding for Great Lakes
Washington, DC - Congressman John D. Dingell (D-MI15) today helped pass the Great Lakes Legacy Reauthorization Act. The bill, sponsored by Representative Vern Ehlers (R-MI03), reauthorizes the Great Lakes Legacy Act which mandated a very successful environmental clean-up program for the Great Lakes when it was first signed into law on November 27, 2002. Last week the House passed H.R. 6460 and that version of the bill tripled funding authorized for the program from $50 million per year to $150 million per year for five years, however, the Senate reduced the funding back to $50 million and the House passed the bill again today with the Senate's changes.
The Congressman made the following statement on the bill, H.R. 6460:
"Madam Speaker: I rise today in support of H.R. 6460, the Great Lakes Legacy Reauthorization Act. Today, we will vote to reauthorize the Great Lakes Legacy Act program for the next two years at its current level of $50 million per year rather than the $150 million per year for the next five years the House approved last week. I am supporting this Senate-amended version not because I believe the Great Lakes deserve substantially less money than we afforded them in the House, but because this very important clean-up program must be reauthorized before it expires next week.
The Great Lakes Legacy Act has been an incredibly successful program. In fact, the first success story from the Legacy Act is in Trenton, Michigan. Black Lagoon, as it had been named in the 1980s because of the oil and grease that had accumulated between the 1940s and the 1970s, was renamed Ellias Cove just one year ago after the area was remediated. Without the Great Lakes Legacy Act, the $9.3 million cleanup would not have been possible.
Madam Speaker: I ask my colleagues to join me in voting "yes" on H.R. 6460 to reauthorize this program that will continue to clean up our national treasure. However, I look forward to a time, hopefully after the next election, when a single senator (who is not even from the Great Lakes region) cannot stand in the way of greater progress for our Great Lakes."