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Great Lakes


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

Jul 1, 2010 Press Release
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) is encouraged to see state legislation move forward limiting phosphorus in household products as a means to protect New York’s fresh water. The Congressman previously introduced similar legislation, HR 2775, in the House of Representatives.
Feb 23, 2010 Press Release

Over the weekend, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in collaboration with 15 other federal agencies, unveiled an ambitious and unprecedented plan to make restoration of the Great Lakes a national priority through the five year, $2.2 billion Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Action Plan.

Dec 17, 2009 Press Release
This week Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) joined the House of Representatives in approving the Fiscal Year 2010 Omnibus Appropriation Act and Defense Appropriation bill. This legislation, along with the Energy & Water and Interior & Environment bills approved earlier this fall, will deliver over $22.858 million for projects in Western New York.
May 30, 2009 Press Release
A broad-based coalition of environmental, sports, labor and religious groups were joined by Representative Brian Higgins at a media event at the Erie Basin Marina with a flotilla of kayaks, canoes and fishing boats to highlight the need to protect Lake Erie from nuclear contamination. The federal and state governments are proposing to leave vast amounts of nuclear waste at the West Valley site for up to 30 years and probably longer. Scientists found in a state-funded independent study that, over time, leaking nuclear waste from the site, located 30 miles south of Buffalo, can pollute Lakes Erie and Ontario and harm public health and the economy in the U.S. and Canada.
Apr 29, 2009 Press Release

Late yesterday, Congressmembers Brian Higgins, Chris Lee, Steve Israel, Carolyn Maloney and Eric Massa introduced a bill (HR2133) in the House of Representatives that would require the New York Power Authority to direct into a special fund profits from the sale of unused energy that was allocated for Western New York industries for Western New York waterfront, cultural, park and economic development projects. 

Apr 20, 2009 Press Release
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) and City of Dunkirk Mayor Richard Frey announced $376,000 in federal funding for dredging efforts in Dunkirk Harbor. The funding, secured by Congressman Higgins through the House Energy and Water bill at the request of Mayor Frey, will allow for smoother sailing of recreational and commercial vessels navigating the waters.
Mar 12, 2009 Press Release

Washington, DC- Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) today voted for, and the House passed, H.R. 1262, Water Quality Investment Act. This legislation would make key investments to improve water quality and better ensure safe, clean water for all Americans while potentially creating hundreds of thousands of jobs over the next five years. Higgins, a lead advocate in Congress of cleaning and restoring the Great Lakes and member of the House Great Lakes Task Force, applauded sections of the bill that would prevent future contamination from sewer overflows and other pollutants.