WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) voted with his colleagues in the House of Representatives to approve HR 6460, the Great Lakes Legacy Reauthorization Act of 2008, a bill authorizing funds for the remediation of contaminated sites around the Great Lakes, including the Buffalo River Area of Concern.
“This legislation allows for a continued investment in the future of our Great Lakes,” said Congressman Higgins, a cosponsor of the Legacy Act. “A continued focus on the health and quality of this fresh water resource is a national priority and particularly important to areas like Western New York that are directly impacted environmentally and economically by our proximity to the Great Lakes.”
The remediation projects authorized under the Great Lakes Legacy Act are negotiated between the EPA Great Lakes National Program Office and a region sponsor. The bill would authorize $150 million annually from 2009-2013, three times the amount included in the original 2002 bill.
Congressman Higgins is a member of the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force and led a local roundtable discussion on the Great Lakes last November. The Congressman is also a sponsor of the Great Lakes Compact, Great Lakes Collaboration Implementation Act, Beach Protection Act, Clean Water Restoration Act and the Water Quality Investment Act.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 30 million people live in the Great Lakes basin. Recently the Brookings Institute found that Buffalo would see economic gains between $600 million to $1.1 billion if the Great Lakes are restored.