Trump's budget targets water cleanup programs

MAY 31 2002 FILE

Last year, the president proposed a similar cut - from $300 million down to $10 million.

With the realization that President Donald Trump's 2019 budget request calls for the elimination of all but $30 million of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), an array of MI senators and representatives have expressed varying levels of discontent.

As we've seen locally, the impact of pollution, algae and invasive species can quickly get out of control.

"Cutting Great Lakes investments by 90 percent-essentially eliminating the program-threatens the health of our lakes and jeopardizes Michigan's economy", Kildee said.

Our representatives in Washington need to take notice of the short-sighted and unsafe proposal to drastically cut EPA funding and take steps to ensure that it doesn't happen.

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There is a bi-partisan push back by Great Lakes leaders against Donald Trump's newly released budget and infrastructure proposals.

$5.4 billion for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which helps administer Great Lakes restoration and clean water protection programs-a reduction of 34 percent from the 2017 budget levels. The other programs receive significantly less federal funding. That's down from $167 million past year.

Ambs says, "The Trump Administration missed a major opportunity to help communities restore their water infrastructure". He said he plans to continue working to protect the Great Lakes and keep the GLRI fully funded. "In all, it makes no sense". As the Free Pressnotes, the cuts were buried in one line in a 96-page budget without explanation - a move that Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee called "draconian".

In Upstate New York, initiative money has helped clean up tributaries to Onondaga Lake in Syracuse, improve water quality in the Finger Lakes, relocate mussel populations in the St. Regis River and prevent the spread of invasive species in Lake Ontario. It's clear that when it comes to the Great Lakes our priorities are at odds with the administration.

"A cut of this magnitude would severely damage Bay restoration efforts, just at a time when we are seeing significant progress", said William Baker, president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

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