Summary of Hearings on Great Lakes and Other Watersheds (4-27-06)
- March 16, 2006: Senate Committee on Environment
& Public Works Hearing on "Great Lakes Regional Collaboration's
Strategy to Restore and Protect the Great Lakes"
Committee on Environment & Public Works
Hearing on "Great Lakes Regional Collaboration's Strategy
to Restore and Protect the Great Lakes"
March 16, 2006
Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH)
Senator Carl Levin (D-MI)
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Stephen Johnson, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Governor Bob Taft (R-OH), Council of Great Lakes Governors
Frank Ettawageshik, Tribal Chairman, Little Traverse Bay Bands of
David Ullrich, Director, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative
George Kuper, President, Council of Great Lakes Industries
Andy Buchsbaum, Director, Great Lakes Natural Resource Center, National
Wildlife Federation, Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition
Diane Katz, Director of Science, Environment, and Technology Policy,
the Mackinac Center for Public Policy
Bill Howland, Basin Program Manager, Lake Champlain Basin Program
The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing
on March 16, 2006 to discuss the Great
Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy and its recommendations
for restoring the Great Lakes. In their opening remarks, Committee
Chair James Inhofe (R-OK) and Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) expressed
the importance of developing a collaborative strategy for protecting
the Great Lakes, citing a 2003 Government Accountability Office (GAO)
148 federal and 51 state programs are involved in environmental restoration
projects in the region. Voinovich, who chaired the hearing, noted
that the two primary issues to address in developing a restoration
strategy are improving management and considering "fiscal realities."
Witnesses at the hearing represented an array of federal, state,
and tribal leaders, environmental groups, and industries, many of
which had been involved in the development of the collaboration strategy
report. Several of the witnesses advised lawmakers to implement the
recommendations of the report, which proposes spending more than $20
billion on restoration projects over the next five years. The strategy
would cut down on the number of programs involved in restoration.
"By funding priorities rather than programs, Congress can effectively
channel the work of federal, state and local agencies toward key objectives,"
said Ohio Governor Bob Taft (R), a representative of the Council of
Great Lakes Governors.
Senators Mike DeWine (R-OH) and Carl Levin (D-MI) also testified
at the hearing. They discussed plans to introduce a bill in April
that would implement the majority of the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration
Strategy recommendations, including addressing problems of invasive
species, threats to wildlife habitats, contaminated sediments, and
To read the opening statements of Senators Inhofe, Voinovich, and
Jeffords as well as the witness testimony from the hearing, click
Sources: Hearing testimony, Environment & Energy Daily.
Contributed by Jenny Fisher, 2006 AGI/AAPG Spring Intern.
Please send any comments or requests for information to AGI
Government Affairs Program.
Last updated on April 27, 2006