Cleanup Great Lakes
A $20 billion proposal for a wide-scale Great Lakes cleanup appears to be drowning in the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina.
Great Lakes advocates said Friday that the Bush administration is backing away from the cleanup plan only three months after it was released.
And the federal aid targeted to the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast now estimated at $200 billion is one reason why, said David Naftzger, executive director of the Council of Great Lakes Governors.
"There are challenges to getting short-term funding," Naftzger said. "Clearly the hurricanes have placed some restraints on federal resources."
Naftzger's comments followed the leak of an internal White House document that suggests that Great Lakes funding should remain "within current budget projections."
Sources said some of the language of that interagency report to President Bush is still being modified. But the essence of the document which the Chicago Tribune uncovered remains the same: The federal government should not pour billions of dollars into the Great Lakes at this time.
Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, R-Clarence, sponsor of an earlier bill that would set aside $4 billion for the Great Lakes, said he had not heard that the Bush administration is backing off the $20 billion plan.
But Reynolds acknowledged Hurricane Katrina made it more difficult to obtain vast amounts of new funding for the Great Lakes.
October 9, 2005 7:28 AM | Category: Cleanup