Mississippi River

Press Release: New Report Reveals Illinois & Other States Failing to Manage Nitrogen & Phosphorus Pollution in our Waterways, Mississippi River

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 17, 2016

Contact: Judith Nemes, Environmental Law & Policy Center
JNemes@elpc.org 312-795-3706

Kim Knowles, Prairie Rivers Network
KKnowles@prairierivers.org 314-341-1641

New Report Reveals Illinois and Other States Failing to Manage Nitrogen & Phosphorus Pollution in our Waterways
Environmental Coalition Calls on EPA to Step Up Efforts to Reduce Nutrient Pollution in Mississippi River

Mississippi River – The Mississippi River Collaborative (MRC) today released a report that implores the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to take specific actions to clean up nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in Illinois and nine other states, because those states have failed to make sufficient pollution reductions. The 10 states included in the report all border the Mississippi River and send their pollution to the river and ultimately to the Gulf of Mexico.

The report, “Decades of Delay,” was prepared by MRC, a partnership of 13 environmental and legal groups, and assesses state progress in reducing the pollution that threatens drinking water supplies for millions of Americans and causes the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone.

The report finds that nitrogen and phosphorus continue to pose serious threats to Illinois waters, interfering with the public’s use and enjoyment, and threatening the health of people and aquatic life. Illinois lakes have been especially devastated by phosphorus pollution.

“EPA’s hands-off approach is simply not working in Illinois. Every summer our lakes and beaches are fouled by noxious, smelly and sometimes toxic algal blooms,” said Kim Knowles, Staff Attorney at Prairie Rivers Network. “The state lacks a rigorous program for addressing this scourge.”

“For 20 years, we have been told the EPA and the states would address the nitrogen and phosphorus pollution that fouls our rivers and lakes and perpetuates the Gulf Dead Zone,” said Jessica Dexter, Staff Attorney, Environmental Law & Policy Center, an MRC member. “This report demonstrates the falsity of that claim. EPA should use the tools outlined in the report to uphold the Clean Water Act and get us on a path to clean rivers and streams.”

The report suggests six specific steps EPA can take to protect human health and water quality in state waters. Recommendations include setting numeric limits of allowable nitrogen and phosphorus in state waters, assessing more waterways to determine the full extent and impact of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution, and making sure states develop rigorous plans for reducing pollution and for procuring the funding needed to address this significant problem.

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Decades of Delay Executive Summary
Decades of Delay Full Report

Wort 89.9 FM: The Driftless Area’s proposed ATC line’s affect on Wisconsin Residents

Wort 89.9 FMOctober 10, 2016
By A Public Affair

How will the American Transmission Company’s proposed Cardinal-Hickory Creek power line affect Wisconsin residents? What are the benefits of the new power line? Will rates go up for Wisconsin citizens? This power line is meant to follow a route from northeastern Iowa, on or near the Hickory Creek, and across the Mississippi River, through southwestern Wisconsin’s Driftless Area to the Cardinal substation in Middleton.

Listen to the A Public Affair episode here.

Greenwire: ELPC Files Brief Urging EPA to Require Nutrient Standards Along Mississippi River

A coalition of environmental groups yesterday submitted their latest legal arguments in their fight against U.S. EPA’s refusal to require standards for nutrient pollution in the Mississippi River Basin.

In a brief filed yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, 11 green groups say EPA should require states along the Mississippi River to adopt water quality standards for nitrogen and phosphorus, nutrients that can lead to algae blooms that rob waters of dissolved oxygen and kill aquatic life.

These blooms have led to a nearly 6,500-square-mile “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“That dead zone has been growing and growing over time,” said Brad Klein, senior attorney with the Environmental Law & Policy Center, one of the environmental groups suing EPA. “We’ve been really missing deadlines to try to get that under control.”

The brief is the latest move in a fight dating back to 2008 to force EPA to implement standards to stem the flow of nutrients to the Gulf of Mexico. That year, groups petitioned the agency to begin adopting standards for states that refused to create their own.

Three years later, EPA declined to make a decision on the petition, saying, among other things, that it was seeking partnerships with states to create voluntary programs to address nutrient runoff, rather than writing federal regulations.

The environmental organizations sued the agency in district court in 2012. The court sided with greens. EPA appealed to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, who affirmed the lower court’s decision on the question of courts’ jurisdiction to hear the matter at all, but remanded the case to the Louisiana district court to settle a limited question on whether EPA had based response to the petition on the text of the Clean Water Act.

“We’re looking at that little narrow question that they sent back on the substance,” said Ann Alexander, legal advocacy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Midwest Program. “It’s a critically important question, but it’s a narrow question.”

EPA reasoned that it would “be impractical, inefficient, and counterproductive to devote its limited resources to the mammoth task of determining whether numeric nutrient criteria are required for multiple pollutants in numerous water bodies” in states around the country, the agency’s legal team wrote the court in November 2015.

Klein disagreed with that assessment.

“Voluntary and nonregulatory efforts alone are, we don’t feel are ever going to solve the problem,” he said. “We need actual targets and standards for what we’re going to accomplish.”

Greens are relying in part on the landmark 2007 Supreme Court case Massachusetts v. EPA, in which the high court ruled the agency was required to make a determination as to whether carbon dioxide needed to be regulated based on the requirements of the Clean Air Act, rather than bringing in considerations not pertinent to the act.

But EPA disagreed that the Massachusetts ruling required that the agency make a decision on the current case.

“EPA has broad discretion to consider resource constraints, to balance competing statutory considerations, and to otherwise determine the ‘manner, timing, content, and coordination of its regulations,'” the agency wrote in its November brief.

Read Online

ELPC 2015: What We’ve Achieved, and What’s Next

This is a transformational year for the environment. ELPC is seizing strategic opportunities for progress on the big issues. We’re achieving strong results in these politically gridlocked times.

First, the EPA’s Clean Power Plan caps two decades of sustained advocacy by ELPC and many environmental and public health colleagues backed by sound scientific findings. The U.S. is now stepping up as a global leader advancing clean energy solutions to reduce carbon pollution.

Second, solar energy, wind power and innovative energy efficiency technologies are poised to transform the electricity market just as wireless transformed telecommunications, changing the ways that we live and work. ELPC is driving new policies to accelerate distributed Midwest solar energy installations and install one million new smart thermostats in Illinois.

Third, ELPC’s successful litigation to stop the fiscal folly Illiana Tollway, protect the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie and promote sound regional planning is transforming transportation policy to prioritize public transit and modern regional rail instead of politically clouted boondoggles. ELPC attorneys are winning in both the court of law and the court of public opinion.

ELPC is effective. Our teams of expert public interest attorneys, M.B.A.s, policy advocates and communications specialists, combined with the ELPC Science Advisory Council, play to win and know how to get things done.  ELPC is truly making a difference for a better world.

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Your support has helped ELPC advance a cleaner renewable energy mix for the Midwest, accelerate cleaner transportation, and clean up the rivers and great lakes that we all care about. Please consider ELPC’s results and make a financial contribution to support our successful program work in 2016:

 

Ditching the Illiana Tollway Boondoggle and Protecting the Remarkable Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

Midewin_Illiana_250x330The proposed new Illiana Tollway is a fiscal folly, undermines sound regional planning and would harm wildlife and ecological values in the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. On June 16th, Federal District Court Judge Jorge Alonso granted Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and declared that the federal and state transportation agencies’ approval of the Tier 1 final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision “for the proposed new Illiana Expressway was arbitrary and capricious and in violation of NEPA.” This is a tremendous litigation victory for ELPC’s public interest attorneys on behalf of our clients Midewin Heritage Association, Openlands and Sierra Club.

More than a dozen newspapers across Illinois have editorialized against the Illiana “road to nowhere” during the state’s fiscal crisis and when there are much higher priorities for limited transportation infrastructure funds to enable badly-needed fixes for transit and commuter rail, intercity higher-speed rail, and highway and bridge repairs.

ELPC’s legal, economic and media advocacy and our clients’ public engagement have changed the proposed new boondoggle Illiana Tollway from a “done deal” to “terminal life support.” It’s time for Governor Rauner and Illinois’ political leadership to finally ditch the Illiana once and for all. ELPC is working hard in the federal and state courts, and in the courts of public opinion, to bring the proposed Illiana Tollway to its well-deserved end.

 

Installing One Million Smart Thermostats in Illinois – A National Model

NestThermostat_250x330ELPC and Commonwealth Edison worked together creating an ambitious new program to install one million new smart thermostats in Illinois homes and small businesses over the next five years. U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy joined us for the October 8th public announcement. This leading-edge initiative provides rebates up to $120, using the consumer-funded Energy Efficiency Performance Standards program resources, for the new generation of Ecobee, Nest and Honeywell thermostats that learn customer behavior and adjust cooling and heating without complicated programming. These “smart thermostats” can save consumers 15%-25% from their heating and cooling costs and reduce pollution. Once the Illinois program is off the ground, ELPC plans to replicate it in more Midwestern states. This innovative technology is a winner.

 

Accelerating Solar Energy in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota

SolarShedd_250x330Solar energy installations in the Midwest grew by 70% last year, creating jobs, new businesses and economic growth. However, the coal industry and some electric utilities are seeking to impose regulatory barriers to protect their polluting power plants and their electricity monopolies. ELPC is working to advance sound policies that drive clean solar energy forward and remove regulatory barriers to development.

In Illinois, ELPC was instrumental in helping enact and then design the state’s first $30 million distributed solar generation procurement.

In Iowa, ELPC successfully repelled Interstate Power & Light’s attempt to impose new barriers to solar development after we won a major case before the Iowa Supreme Court to remove utility-imposed barriers to conventional third-party financing arrangements for solar energy development projects.

In Minnesota and Michigan, ELPC is making steady progress with our state-based partners to design new distributed solar programs and strategies. We’re moving forward at this transformational time to accelerate solar energy development for a cleaner energy future. ELPC is pro-technological innovation, pro-competition and pro-removing regulatory barriers to solar.

 

Keeping the Great Lakes and Midwest Rivers Clean

LakeMichiganMichigan-sidebarThere are two main types of water pollution – from a single, identifiable “point” source and the “non-point” flows from farms, ranches and streets. ELPC is working on both.

This is the first year that the SS Badger car ferry did not dump about 1,000,000 pounds of toxic coal ash into Lake Michigan. The ship now has a new coal ash containment system thanks to an effective advocacy campaign led by ELPC with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and our good colleagues. ELPC’s work to stop the SS Badger from polluting the drinking water supplies for 42 million people is a strong precedent that reinforces that it’s no longer acceptable to dump toxic pollution in our Great Lakes.

ELPC also brought together more than 60 scientists and policymakers for our second annual Great Lakes Science-Policy Confluence Conference to discuss solutions to mitigate “nutrient pollution” – agricultural runoff that helped cause toxic blue-green algae blooms in Western Lake Erie. In summer 2014, 500,000 people in the Toledo area were without safe drinking water supplies for 72 hours. That’s not acceptable. ELPC is stepping up our advocacy for the necessary actions to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus runoff from agricultural operations that caused the toxic algae and contaminated water supplies.

ELPC continues our Mississippi River protection legal leadership, and we convened a new collaboration of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia groups for coordinated multi-state action to help clean up the Ohio River, considered by some to be America’s most polluted waterway.

 

ELPC Is Accelerating the Next Generation of Sustainable Transportation

AmtrakELPC is a recognized leader in advancing the Midwest high-speed rail network, which will improve mobility, reduce pollution, create jobs and pull together the regional economy. We are working to accelerate new clean cars and trucks, which use modern technologies to increase fuel efficiency and reduce pollution.

This year, I was honored to be asked by Amtrak’s CEO to serve on a four-member Blue Ribbon Panel analyzing and recommending strategies and better practices to increase fluidity and reduce congestion for higher-speed passenger rail and freight rail in the “Chicago Gateway” leading to St. Louis, Detroit and the East Coast.

 

 

Making the Clean Power Plan Standards Work Well

coal_250x330This is the federal cornerstone for America’s commitment to climate change solutions. ELPC is working with many business, environmental, health and faith-based allies to overcome the coal industry’s and certain politicians’ litigation efforts to stall progress, and to effectively implement state climate solution action plans in the Midwest states. Overall, ELPC is advancing new policies to drive energy markets with technological innovations that can change the world.

 

 

 

 

ELPC believes in the core principle that environmental progress and economic growth can be achieved together, and we put that sustainability principle into practice every day. ELPC’s solutions-focused strategies engage diverse partners and seize opportunities to accelerate clean energy development and clean transportation technologies, protect clean air and clean water, and preserve the Midwest’s wild and natural places.

ELPC’s multidisciplinary staff teams of public interest attorneys, M.B.A.s, policy experts and communications specialists are fully engaged across the Midwest, and we’re making progress. It isn’t easy; real change never is. We don’t give up. Let’s keep working together to win.

Thank you for engaging and making a contribution to support ELPC’s work to harness this change and achieve a brighter future.

 

Duluth News Tribune Op-Ed by ELPC’s Learner: Environment, economy can flourish together

The elections are behind us. Let’s now focus on opportunities to advance clean water, clean transportation and clean-energy solutions that can help make Duluth an even stronger, more sustainable community.

The Environmental Law and Policy Center has opened a new office here, staffed by Duluth native Jessica Dexter. We will be working with civic partners to make a difference in advancing positive environmental solutions in three areas of focus.

First, Duluth is at the headwaters of the Great Lakes and not far from the Mississippi River’s headwaters. America’s greatest freshwater systems both start in this region. For many years, the Environmental Law and Policy Center has been working collaboratively with environmental and policymaker partners to clean up the Great Lakes and reduce pollution in the Mississippi River basin.

The Great Lakes are global gems, representing 22 percent of the world’s freshwater supply and providing drinking water to 42 million people in eight states and two provinces. The Environmental Law and Policy Center played a key role in advancing the transformative Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which, since 2011, has provided more than $1.3 billion in federal support to more than 2,000 projects that have improved water quality, protected and restored native habitat and species, prevented and controlled invasive species, and are helping solve additional Great Lakes environmental problems.

The Environmental Law and Policy Center’s public-interest attorneys are focusing on reducing mercury and other toxic contamination that impair the Great Lakes’ ecological health and safe drinking-water supplies. We look forward to working with Minnesota partners to advance sound, science-based legal and policy solutions to better protect Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes.

The mighty Mississippi River flows past Minnesota and nine other states before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way, it provides drinking water for more than 18 million people and vital cultural, recreational, economic and wildlife resources. Reducing phosphorus and nutrient pollution from fertilizer and manure runoff from agricultural operations into the waterways of the Upper Mississippi River basin is necessary to protect threatened local drinking water and to counteract the growing Gulf of Mexico “dead zone” caused by pollution.

Second, better transportation is vital for Duluth’s economic and environmental health. The Minnesota Legislature will consider a transportation bill this session. It should prioritize smart investments in transit and rail, which are gaining passengers, and “fix it first” when it comes to highways and bridges. According to the St. Louis County Public Works Department, 20 percent of the bridges in the county longer than 10 feet are “deficient.” Fixing problem bridges should be a priority.

Let’s also support better inter-city rail transportation options that advance Duluth’s future. Modern, faster, comfortable and convenient passenger rail service between Duluth and the Twin Cities will improve mobility, reduce pollution, create jobs and better connect the regional economy.

A “hard-wired” rail link would make Duluth less dependent on airlines’ changing plans and business priorities and would connect Duluth to the Twin Cities metropolitan area and beyond. In addition, new passenger rail service creates a competitive price constraint on airfares and helps attract businesses and mobile young professionals to Duluth.

The Environmental Law and Policy Center long has been a recognized leader in advancing the Midwest high-speed rail network. We look forward to working with Duluth-area businesses, environmental leaders and transportation experts to accelerate modern Duluth’s higher-speed rail from vision to reality.

Third, the Environmental Law and Policy Center is advancing breakthrough policies that accelerate solar-energy development and remove regulatory barriers. The center’s public-interest attorneys and experts were extensively engaged in persuading the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to adopt a forward-looking “value of solar tariff” that takes into account the multiple benefits of solar-energy development.

Solar energy should be compensated in ways that value the jobs and economic development from new projects, the pollution reduction and public health benefits, and the importance of solar as a peak-power resource that’s generally available when the power is needed most for demand and reliability. Let’s work together to advance Minnesota leadership on innovative clean-energy policies and projects.

The Environmental Law and Policy Center believes environmental progress and economic growth can be achieved together. We put this sustainability principle into practice with the positive initiatives described above. We look forward to working with our Duluth partners to advance clean-water, clean-transportation and clean-energy solutions that work well and support Duluth’s sustainability.

Howard Learner is executive director in Chicago of the Environmental Law & Policy Center, an environmental and economic development advocacy organization that recently opened an office in Duluth. The center has offices in five Midwestern cities.

 

ELPC’s New InMinnesotaWater.org Is Dedicated to Protecting Minnesota’s Lakes and Rivers

MNwaterscreenshot

ELPC’s innovative new InMinnesotaWater.org brings to life the water quality issues important to Minnesotans. From taking families to one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes to revitalizing riverfronts and hunting for ‘sexy owls,’ this storytelling and advocacy tool highlights the people and waterways that make Minnesota special.

Minnesota is home to challenging water pollution problems both urban and rural, but it is also home to some pristine water bodies and to families, business owners, anglers, kayakers and community leaders who are trying to make a difference. ELPC’s new website provides users with the opportunity to make a difference by:

  • Taking action by communicating with your local and state decisionmakers

Please join us in promoting safe, clean waters in Minnesota by using these tools and asking your friends and family to do the same.

This isn’t just about Minnesota’s water or environment. It’s about Minnesota’s citizens. Business owners who are trying to do the right thing. Families who are enjoying the outdoors together. Community leaders who want to demonstrate why clean, safe water is a basic right for all and why we all have the responsibility to be good stewards.

Please enjoy reading, watching and acting on
these stories about Minnesotans and our lakes and rivers:

StoryPreview-DuluthFlooding StoryPreview-ElyMining2
StoryPreview-LakesToDeath StoryPreview-MississippiRiver
StoryPreview-SaxZimBog

ELPC Senior Staff Attorney Brad Klein in Wall Street Journal story about nutrients

Wall Street Journal
By MARK PETERS

Feb. 19, 2014 8:18 p.m. ET

NEW MADISON, Ohio— Kevin Hollinger planted radishes and oats last fall in his corn and soybean fields, but he isn’t planning to harvest them. Instead, he is letting the crops die over the winter to improve the soil and keep fertilizer and other nutrients from running into nearby waterways.

“I could hardly go to town without someone asking: ‘What’s that in your field?’ ” said Mr. Hollinger, a fourth-generation farmer.

Helping to foot the bill for his experiment is a pilot program set to launch fully next month. Farmers in the Ohio River basin are being paid to make changes—from what they plant to how they handle manure—in an effort to minimize runoff that can cause hypoxia, or low oxygen levels, in waterways.

Nutrient runoff plays a role, nearly 1,000 miles downstream from Mr. Hollinger’s farm, in the formation of the so-called dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico—an area where fish and other aquatic life can’t survive and which is considered one of the nation’s biggest water-pollution problems,

Shrinking the dead zone—which was most recently the size of Connecticut—has challenged regulators. Nutrients that flow down in the Mississippi River and end up in the Gulf come from hundreds of thousands of sources across more than a dozen states.

“It takes a long time to address such a large watershed and such a significant problem,” said Nancy Stoner, acting assistant administrator for water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The agency doesn’t have the power to regulate most farms, and leaves controlling nutrient levels in lakes, rivers and streams largely to the states. Environmental groups, who argue the states have taken little action, have sued the EPA to force it to set acceptable levels for nitrogen and phosphorous in the Mississippi basin.
[http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/NA-CA099_OHIORI_NS_20140219183903.jpg]
Increasingly, several government and nonprofit groups, including the Electric Power Research Institute, the research arm of the U.S. utility industry, are trying an approach outside of traditional regulation. The institute is setting up a trading system, starting with about 30 farms across Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.

Those farms create credits by keeping nitrogen and phosphorous from reaching the Ohio River. The credits can be sold to power plants, sewage plants and other facilities that release nutrients into local waterways.
“Our project is trying to set the table,” said Jessica Fox, manager of the program, which is designed to work on a larger scale.

The goal isn’t just to develop a new market. The projects also hope to persuade farmers that certain changes in the field can help the environment and boost their operations. Crop covers, for example, are sowed to improve soil quality for future plantings and reduce runoff by holding the soil in place and making it better able to absorb and retain water.

Last fall, Mr. Hollinger planted radishes and oats on 200 acres of his farm after harvesting his corn and soybean crop. The seed cost about $5,000. Offsetting the expense was $2,000 from the institute, which will sell the credits the project produces. When Mr. Hollinger plants corn and soybeans in the spring, the harsh winter should have killed the radishes and oats and he can sow his fields as usual.

“I feel like if we do a good job now, we can certainly head off the need for regulation,” Mr. Hollinger said, though he says he will need to see better production or a reduction in costs to stick with it.
In total, the pilot projects are expected to keep about 66,000 pounds of nitrogen and 30,000 pounds of phosphorus out of the Ohio River. Credits for some of those reductions will be sold next month to utilities, including American Electric Power<http://quotes.wsj.com/AEP> based in Columbus, Ohio. It plans to spend $50,000 on credits as seed money for a market that it believes will demonstrate a low-cost way to reduce a variety of pollutants, a company spokeswoman said.

Several environmental groups support the development of such markets, but say they only will work if regulators set an overall cap on nutrient levels. A limit creates demand since sewage treatment plants and other facilities will need to buy credits to meet it, drawing in more farmers. The lack of a strict cap is one of several issues that has stunted similar environmental markets tried elsewhere in the country, according to a 2011 study by U.S. Department of Agriculture economists.

Now, “there is no regulatory backstop to the voluntary plans and ideas being worked on. You’ve got the speed limit sign without a number on it,” said Brad Klein, a senior attorney at the Environmental Law & Policy Center.

For now, Allan Kirkpatrick is taking voluntary steps with the help of the pilot program to control manure on his cattle farm in southern Indiana. He transformed an area for his cows and calves from a messy mix of mud and manure to a more solid surface topped with crushed limestone. That enables him to scoop up manure and spread it on nearby fields where it is unlikely to become runoff. The program paid most of the $6,000 cost for materials and equipment, allowing him to complete the work in one year rather than several years.

“I knew the benefit was there, I just didn’t have the funds to do it all,” Mr. Kirkpatrick said. In the area, “there are more people seeing [the project] and seeing the advantages of it.”

Write to Mark Peters at mark.peters@wsj.com<mailto:mark.peters@wsj.com>

ELPC, Mississippi River Coalition Sue EPA Over Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution

Mark Schleifstein of the New Orleans Times-Picayune covered the filing of two law suits against the EPA   by the Mississippi River Coalition. The Coalition, of which ELPC is a member, wants the EPA to set numeric standards for nitrogen and phosphorus levels in the Mississippi River and its tributaries, and wants to the agency to revisit wastewater treatment standards. Nitrogen and phosphorus are pollutants that contribute to the dead zone that emerges in the Gulf of Mexico each spring. Read the story.

CBS Chicago: Environmental Groups: Close Sanitary And Ship Canal To Stop Asian Carp

“Separating the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River Basin is a key step to protect both the ecological and economic value of the Great Lakes,” Environmental Law and Policy Center director Howard Learner said in a news release. “More than 30 million people live in the Great Lakes Basin and rely on its abundance of freshwater, which is under increasing threat from Asian carp and other invasive species.”

Read more of the story.

Statement from Howard Learner: Separating the Chicago Area Waterway System is an Important Step to Protect the Great Lakes’ Ecology and Economy

Today, the Great Lakes Commission and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative released its Chicago Area Waterways Study (CAWS), which offers recommended action steps to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp and other invasive species. ELPC Executive Director Howard Learner released this statement about the study and its recommendations.

“Separating the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River Basin is a key step to protect both the ecological and economic value of the Great Lakes. More than 30 million people live in the Great Lakes Basin and rely on its abundance of freshwater, which is under increasing threat from Asian carp and other invasive species. The release of this important study and action framework today advances important Great Lakes values.

“The Study shows that strong and effective action is needed sooner than later to protect Lake Michigan and the other Great Lakes. We have to get this right from the start. There are no do-over ‘Mulligans’ if invasive species get into our Great Lakes.”

Mr. Learner served as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Chicago Area Waterways Study project.

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