Chicago, IL (August 10, 2021) – Earlier today, the Senate passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, which included commitments to water infrastructure and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. In response, Alliance for the Great Lakes Director of Federal Relations Don Jodrey released the following statement:
“Our work at the Alliance is focused on protecting and restoring the Great Lakes, which supply drinking water to millions of Americans and make up 20% of the world’s fresh water.
We are encouraged to see major water infrastructure commitments passed by the Senate today as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. These commitments include $48 billion for water infrastructure improvements nationwide and $1 billion for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. This funding provides an important boost to projects across the Great Lakes region and a down payment to begin addressing water infrastructure failures across the country.
We’re specifically excited to see a commitment to address Areas of Concerns (AOCs). These toxic hot spots around the Great Lakes region are a direct result of pollution by heavy industry. Cleaning up these areas is resource-intensive but deeply important to preserving the environment, protecting human health and creating jobs — benefits members from both sides of the aisle can get behind.
Although today represents an important step forward, we cannot stop here. Due to decades of neglect, our current water infrastructure is nearing the end of its useful life. The U.S. EPA has estimated that $188 billion over the next 20 years will be needed in improvements, upgrades, and repairs to these systems in the Great Lakes states alone. Much more needs to be done to ensure that everyone in the Great Lakes region has access to safe, clean and affordable water. We look forward to continuing to work with the Biden administration and members of Congress as they build toward a water infrastructure investment that will restore and protect our precious natural resources for future generations.”
Media contact: Please connect with our media team at TeamGreatLakes@mrss.com.