Environment and the Great Lakes
Michigan is a beautiful state, home to an abundance of natural resources. It’s our responsibility to preserve our water, land and air for future generations. I represent 118 miles of beautiful Lake Huron shoreline and I assure you that protecting our way of life in Michigan is one of my biggest priorities. It’s not just about protecting our environment; our Great Lakes are job creators. The Great Lakes propel our economy, generating billions in annual economic activity each year.
In Congress, I’ve spearheaded efforts to protect our Great Lakes from harm, including from:
- Budget cuts: I have always opposed cutting funding for the Great Lakes, both when President Obama proposed a modest cut, and recently when President Trump proposed complete elimination of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). The GLRI, long supported by Republicans and Democrats, helps to protect the Great Lakes from harm, including cleaning up pollution and combatting the threat of invasive species like Asian carp. In eliminating Great Lakes restoration funding, President Trump is threatening our state’s jobs, our livelihood and our way of life.
These are very real threats not only to the Great Lakes, but our economy in Michigan. It is vital that we protect the Great Lakes, now and in the future, because they help to generate billions in annual economic activity and support 1.5 million good-paying jobs in the tourism, boating and fishing industries. Along with a bipartisan group of members, I have urged President Trump to fully fund the GLRI, and I will continue to fight to protect funding for our Great Lakes – our way of life depends on it.
- Canadian nuclear waste: The health of our Great Lakes could be in jeopardy if Canada moves forward with a plan to build a permanent nuclear waste facility in Kincardine, Ontario – six-tenths of a mile from Lake Huron. The proposed site would house up to 52 million gallons of nuclear waste that could remain radioactive for generations.
On March 15, 2017, along with Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, I introduced a resolution expressing opposition to the construction of a nuclear waste repository. Burying nuclear waste on the shores of the Great Lakes is an unnecessary threat to our fresh water lakes, which would be forever changed if they were contaminated. Surely in the vast land mass that comprises Canada, there must be a better place to permanently store nuclear waste than on the shores of the Great Lakes. I continue to work with Democrats and Republicans to call attention to this threat and seek an alternative location.
- Aquaculture: For-profit commercial fish farming, commonly referred to as aquaculture, also poses a threat to our lakes, rivers and ponds. If not done correctly, it has been shown to increase pollution, destroy sensitive fish habitats, spread disease and introduce non-native species. That is why I introduced legislation to ban harmful aquaculture practices in both the Great Lakes and federally designated “Wild and Scenic Rivers,” which includes the Au Sable River. Banning aquaculture has support from a vast majority of Michiganders, as well as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and conservation groups.
- Invasive species: Invasive species are a threat to the health of the lakes’ ecosystems, and stopping invasive species, such as Asian carp, from entering the Great Lakes is a top priority. I have worked to make sure programs that fight invasive species are fully funded, fought against harmful aquaculture that can introduce invasive species, and co-sponsored bipartisan legislation to prioritize and enact long-term measures to stop the spread of invasive species.
- Nestlé Water Withdrawals: In Michigan, we are blessed to have an abundance of fresh water, and it is our responsibility to ensure that we use these resources sustainably. That’s why I’m concerned about Nestlé, a multi-national corporation, seeking to dramatically increase its withdrawal of groundwater in Michigan. Nestlé is seeking to withdraw up to 400 gallons of Michigan water per minute out of the ground for their bottled water. According to their own analysis, this would extract more water from the ground than can be naturally replenished, harming wildlife habitats and wetlands. I have expressed my opposition to this proposal and will continue to speak out. We must manage our water resources sustainably - it is unfortunate that Nestlé is more concerned with corporate profits than protecting natural resources that support our state’s economy.
More on Environment and the Great Lakes
Federal Funding Passed in Congress Will Now Be Granted to Oscoda Township
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) released the following statement after recent reporting that contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)-tainted foam is grow
After EPA Announces Michigan PFAS Tour, Kildee Says Oscoda Should Be Included
New Legislation Requires Department of Veterans Affairs to Cover Health Conditions Linked to Chemical Contamination at Military Bases
Congressmen Dan Kildee (MI-05) and Brendan Boyle (PA-13), along with U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), today introduced two bills to ensure that veterans and their families exposed to toxic chemicals at military installations get the health care services and benefits they need through the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA).
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Senator Todd Young (R-IN) today introduced bipartisan legislation to protect families living in assisted housing from lead found in drinking water. The Get the Lead Out of Assisted Housing Act of 2018 would help protect families from lead exposure by requiring the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to inspect for lead service lines, create a grant program to address lead contamination and allow a cross-check for lead in water when remediating a home for lead found in paint.
Bipartisan Group of Members Push Farm Bill Conference Committee to Strengthen Rural Water Programs
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) and Congressman Jack Bergman (MI-01) sent a letter today to the Farm Bill conference committee urging them to expand drinking water investments in the final Farm Bill so that rural communities have access to safe drinking water.
Bipartisan effort would increase cooperation between states with PFAS contamination and the federal government
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) released the following statement following reports that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has canceled its trip to Michigan as part of its PFAS community engagement series:
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) released the following statement today after a report showed the state of Michigan knew of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in the Flint River before the city’s drinking water source was switched:
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) issued the following statement after the Trump Administration announced his replacement program for the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan: