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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

July 8, 2020 Press Release

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, today applauded new legislation that would fully support the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) to help protect the Great Lakes.

July 1, 2020 Press Release

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus and Member of the Ways and Means Committee, today applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for passing The Moving Forward Act, which would reinvest and rebuild America’s infrastructure, including roads, bridges, ports, railroads, schools, housing, broadband, drinking and wastewater systems.

July 1, 2020 Press Release

Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan amendment, introduced by Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, Representatives Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) and Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) that would replace toxic lead pipes and ensure clean drinking water for all Michigan families. The amendment, included in The Moving Forward Act, would provide $4.5 billion annually for five years—for a total of $22.5 billion—to remove lead service lines that pose a contamination threat to drinking water for tens of millions of Americans.

June 30, 2020 Press Release

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, today applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for releasing its first-ever report on how to address climate change. 

June 26, 2020 Press Release

“We should protect student borrowers from fraud and predatory for-profit colleges. Under President Obama, we did just that—enacting a Borrower Defense Rule to help students receive the student loan debt relief owed to them under the law. But under the Trump Administration, Betsy DeVos took the opposite approach, pushing changes to protect for-profit colleges at the expense of students. As a result, 240,000 defrauded borrowers are still awaiting action on their claims, including 6,000 hardworking Michiganders.

June 24, 2020 Press Release

“I am pleased to see Ontario Power Generation abandon its plans to build a nuclear waste storage site on the shores of the Great Lakes. Since my first year in Congress, I have worked to bring people together, in both the U.S. and Canada, to stop this risky proposal. Today’s announcement is a huge victory for protecting our environment.

June 22, 2020 Press Release

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus and Member of the Ways and Means Committee, today applauded the introduction of The Moving Forward Act, new legislation introduced by House Democrats to invest in America’s infrastructure, including roads, bridges, ports, railroads, schools, housing, broadband, drinking and wastewater systems.

June 17, 2020 Press Release

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

 

Dear Constituent—

The coronavirus pandemic is developing very quickly, and I know many people have questions and concerns. I will try to answer some of them below.

These are incredibly stressful times for all Michiganders. I am working, along with my staff, around the clock, seven days a week to answer your questions, provide community resources and provide up-to-date, accurate information. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office anytime by calling (810) 238-8627.

June 16, 2020 Press Release

“In total, the flooding affected over 3,700 properties and the estimated private loss is over $190 million. More than 2,300 homes were directly affected causing structural damage, electrical damage, furnace and water heater damage, and extensive mold. These homes are not safe to live in and without assistance, families cannot afford to make critical repairs,” the bipartisan group of lawmakers wrote. “The people of the State of Michigan are resilient, and we commend the work of federal, state, and local officials to provide much needed assistance.

June 13, 2020 Press Release

After years of pushing for clean up of harmful per- and poly-fluoroalkyl (PFAS) contamination in Oscoda, I am glad to see the Air Force begin to take action. The Air Force has known for years that substantial endangerment exists from PFAS contamination, yet has dragged its feet. Stopping PFAS chemical contamination into Clark’s Marsh is just the beginning. The Air Force must address PFAS chemicals leeching off of Wurtsmith into Lake Van Etten, where residents recreate.