February 10, 2020
STATEMENT BY HOWARD A. LEARNER
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ENVIRONMENTAL LAW & POLICY CENTER
CHICAGO — “President Trump has finally recognized that the successful Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) is bipartisan and loved by everyone who cares about the Great Lakes. His budget request to fund the GLRI at $320 million for fiscal year 2021 reflects the hard work that Congress’ bipartisan delegation has put in to protect this program from the administration’s last three attempts to virtually eliminate it. Great Lakes protection and restoration continues to have strong bipartisan support as evidenced last week when the House reauthorized GLRI through 2026, with increased funding by $25 million a year up to $475 million.
“The GLRI alone does not fully protect our Great Lakes. President Trump’s federal budget for fiscal year 2021 sadly slashes EPA’s budget by 27%, demonstrating continued disregard for protecting safe clean water, healthier clean air and other environmental safeguards for people who work, live and play in the Midwest. In addition, his rollback of the Clean Water Rule makes it clear Trump’s War on the Great Lakes continues. Watch what President Trump does, not just what he says.
“The overall message this budget sends is that President Trump’s proposed EPA cuts will continue to hamper the agency’s ability to monitor and enforce protections of clean drinking water, clean air, and the natural environment for people in the Midwest. Additionally, President Trump’s proposed 22% reduction of the Army Corps of Engineers’ budget will make it tougher for the Corps to effectively monitor and repair high-risk levees along the Upper Mississippi River. The Environmental Law & Policy Center’s levee report found many communities are already at risk along the river in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri.”