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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

September 21, 2018 Press Release

Bipartisan Group of Members Push Farm Bill Conference Committee to Strengthen Rural Water Programs

September 17, 2018 Press Release

Bipartisan effort would increase cooperation between states with PFAS contamination and the federal government

August 30, 2018 Press Release

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:

August 27, 2018 Press Release

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:

August 21, 2018 Press Release

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:

July 19, 2018 Press Release

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) issued the following statement following the release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Inspector General’s report on the Flint water crisis:

“As I have said before, the Flint water crisis was a failure of all levels of government. Justice for Flint families comes in many forms and the release of this report is one form of holding those responsible accountable.

July 10, 2018 Press Release

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) released the following statement today following reports that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality was warned of the harmful effects of toxic Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

July 5, 2018 Press Release

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) issued the following statement after Scott Pruitt resigned from his post as EPA Administrator:

June 20, 2018 Press Release

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) issued the following statement after the Trump Administration released a federal study on per- and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFAS). The Trump Administration, including U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and U.S.

May 22, 2018 Press Release

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) issued the following statement today after the Trump Administration and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt sent a letter to Congressman Kildee refusing to release an important study on toxic Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) chemicals: