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Source: WaterWorld

Rep. Reed Works to Boost Great Lakes, Clean Water Projects

BY TARGETED NEWS SERVICE

Posted: January 21, 2014
Originally Published: January 18, 2014

Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y. (23rd CD), issued the following news release:

Rep. Tom Reed is pleased to announce increased support for both the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs) under the House-passed consolidated appropriations bill. Both projects saw increased funding levels under the bill, a move Reed says is due to focusing on programs that are results driven and deliver tangible returns on investment.

"Both initiatives are economic and environmental wins for the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes that protect our water and environmental resources and ensure they remain a source of job creation for years to come," Reed said. "We're able to improve these programs by prioritizing programs proven effective and that give taxpayers a direct return on their investments while saving taxpayer dollars from more bureaucratic spending out of Washington."

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) saw funds increased to $300 million under the House bill. Those dollars will go toward combating invasive species like hydrilla, restoring wetlands and other habitats, protecting wildlife, cleaning up toxins and protecting watersheds. The 23rd district, which includes Lake Erie and Lake Ontario watersheds has more than a dozen projects funded through the GLRI.

The Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs) help to fund critical drinking water and water quality protection projects across the country. New York is able to use this funding to assist municipalities and privately-owned water systems and infrastructure with improving drinking water systems and upgrading wastewater treatment facilities and stormwater management projects. "Across our district we hear how important investments in infrastructure are for improving environmental quality and the area's economic viability," Reed continued. "The opportunities poised by the State Revolving Funds are very effective in assisting communities with their needs."

"By increasing the investment in the successful Great Lakes and SRF programs, millions of New Yorkers will benefit from clean drinking water, healthy fisheries, new jobs, and increased economic development," said Brian Smith, Program & Communications Director for Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE). "CCE commends Congressman Reed for his work to protect and restore the Great Lakes and other treasured water resources for current and future generations."

"Audubon New York applauds the leadership of Congressman Tom Reed and the entire New York Congressional Delegations for securing increased funding to keep the Great Lakes on the road to recovery," said Erin Crotty, Executive Director of Audubon New York. "Through their leadership, the enhanced funding to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund will keep people working to protect this globally significant ecosystem which provides critical habitat for birds and is the backbone of the region's quality of life and economy. As demand for this funding continues to outpace federal appropriations, we look forward to working with the President and Congress to build off this progress and further grow these program in the FY 15 budget."

The House-passed consolidated appropriations bill saves taxpayers $21 billion compared to last year's spending level, contributing to the $165 billion in savings in discretionary spending since fiscal year 2010.