One of Western New York’s greatest assets is its proximity to Lake Erie. The Great Lakes are a unique national treasure with global significance, containing 20% of the world’s supply and 95% of America’s supply of surface freshwater. They are also a vital engine of economic activity – supporting 1.5 million jobs, $62 billion in wages, a $7 billion fishery, and providing clean, affordable hydroelectricity. As a member of the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force, protecting the health of the Great Lakes is one of Brian’s most important priorities. Brian is one of the most vocal supporters of efforts to protect and preserve the Great Lakes, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and other programs. Brian has also introduced H.R. 600, the Great Lakes Nutrient Removal Assistance Act, which would provide funding to update wastewater treatment plants with nutrient removal technology to keep nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen, which can lead to harmful algal blooms, out of the Great Lakes.
More on Great Lakes
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) received confirmation that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has authorized $22 million for the next stage of Buffalo River Restoration. The federal funding will be matched dollar for dollar by a consortium of non-federal funding partners, through a partnership agreement between the Honeywell Corporation and Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, for a combined $44 million project.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) spoke on the House Floor to urge his colleagues in Congress to repeal the sequester by highlighting the importance of continued Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding for projects like the cleanup of the Buffalo River.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) wrote a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Regional Administrator and Great Lakes National Program Manager, Dr. Susan Hedman, to express concern about possible delays to the next phase of the Buffalo River Restoration as a result of budget sequestration and uncertainty about FY 2013 appropriation amounts.
Today, Representatives Brian Higgins (NY-27), and Kathy Hochul (NY-26) announced $1.4 million in Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants awarded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Recipients such as the Research Foundation of SUNY-Buffalo State College will use the funds to address invasive species in New York State.
“Today Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson and Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent have reaffirmed their commitment to the health and safety of our Great Lakes by signing a revised Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Though the release of an updated agreement is long-overdue, I am pleased that we now have this new document to take the steps necessary to address changing threats to the Great Lakes region.
Congressman Brian Higgins led a coalition of 15 of his House of Representatives colleagues in sending a letter urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers to heed the warnings of a recent report published by American and Canadian scientists with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The report identifies the invasion of the Great Lakes by Asian Carp as a more imminent threat than initially realized.
Congressman Brian Higgins took to the House Floor today to urge the State Department to finalize an update to the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The renegotiated agreement was scheduled to have been released this spring.
Congressman Brian Higgins applauded today’s announcement that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will provide Congress and the public the opportunity to identify a potential permanent Asian carp solution by next year, much earlier than initially expected.
(To access video click on photo above or go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgQ4LcRGnuQ)