Greate Lakes Senators Have the Great Lakes Basin in Their Hands

Sens. George Voinovich (R-OH),Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn), Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) and Arlen Specter (D-PA) have a chance this Thursday to help save the Great Lakes from significant degradation, but we have no real idea if either of them is going to support the Clean Water Restoration Act.

This Thursday, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will vote on the Clean Water Restoration Act that would restore the Clean Water Act to the power it had pre-2001. (During the Bush years two Supreme Court cases narrowed the scope of the CWA opening up the way for the pollution of numerous waterways.) Sen. Klobuchar has indicated that she is likely to support the legislation, but Sen. Voinovich has provided no such insight. There is no clear indication for the Gillibrand or Specter either.

There is another danger too – two amendments are feared to be in the works that would compromise the CWRA by allowing pesticides and lead pollution from shooting ranges to be emptied into our waters. Since we aren’t really sure where these two Great Lakes Senators stand on CWRA it is hard to imagine they will stand up for it and fight any weakening measures.

History tells us that if we allow pollution it will happen and our Great Lakes and her tributaries are just too fragile to handle any more. We only have a few Great Lakes Senators on the EPW Committee and so far they have failed to show any leadership on this incredibly important issue. If we can just get it out of Committee intact, there are another 11 Great Lakes US Senators to gather round and support CWRA and their colleagues.

We can hope all we want that our Senators decide to surprise us and show us some real leadership on this issue, but nudging them along is even better. If you have time to call the Capitol Switchboard and ask for any of the above mentioned Senators and tell them to support CWRA: (202) 224-3121! Tks.

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