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Higgins Recognizes Water Week on House Floor

Apr 8, 2014
Press Release
Urges Support for Legislation Protecting the Health of the Great Lakes

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26), a member of the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force, spoke on the House Floor to recognize Water Week, which brings clean water advocates from all over the country to Washington, D.C. to work together to develop strategies to keep our waterways healthy and ensure access to clean water for all Americans. 

Higgins also encouraged support for his legislation, 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. 

Higgins Recognizes Water Week on House Floor

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Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor of Water Week to recognize the critical need for clean water in our nation. 

In my Western New York community, we understand the link between the health of the Great Lakes and the economic vitality of our region. 

Studies have shown that nutrients, like phosphorous and nitrogen, are the cause of harmful algal blooms in the Great Lakes. In order to fight this, I have introduced the Great Lakes Nutrient Removal Assistance Act, which would provide $500 million in funding to upgrade wastewater treatment plants in the Great Lakes basin with nutrient removal technology. 

Madam Speaker, the Great Lakes contain 95% of America’s fresh water and supplies drinking water to more than 30 million people in North America. Additionally, the Great Lakes support 1.5 million jobs and $62 billion in wages annually. 

Protection of the Great Lakes is essential and I commend local advocates like Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper and others who are in Washington, D.C. this week for Water Week, and those who work tirelessly to protect our water resources for the well-being of our nation.