Bill Maintains Great Lakes Funding


After a few months of uncertainty, it appears that the Great Lakes will continue to get federal funding that the Trump Administration proposed cutting in its original budget proposal. The U.S. Senate’s Committee on Appropriations recently released its funding bill for the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other related agencies.

Specifically, the budget contains $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a program that works to clean up toxic pollution, reduce runoff, control invasive species and protect wildlife habitats. This is the same amount the organization received last year and was originally designated to be cut under the Trump administration. A number of Great Lakes senators sent a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt fighting to keep the funding.

The bill by the Senate’s Committee on Appropriations also calls for $1.394 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and $864 million for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. Both will be at the same funding level as last year.

Although proud of the victory with the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, environmentalists are critical of the bill’s cuts to the EPA.

[Photo by Stuart Rankin/Flickr.]