GLWP Hill Happenings April 2013


  • Water Resources Development Act of 2013
    • The Senate is expected to begin floor consideration of the Water Resources Development Act, 601, in May, with an initial procedural vote scheduled for Monday, May 06, 2013
    • summary of the bill, and its relevance to the Northeast-Midwest Region, is available.
    • The House Transportation and Infrastructure’s Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee held a hearing on April 16 entitled “The Foundations for a New Water Resources Development Act”. Adolph Ojard, Executive Director, Duluth Seaway Port Authority; Chairman, U.S. Legislative Policy Council, American Association of Port Authorities; and Chairman, NEMWI Great Ships Initiative Advisory Board, testified.
  • Great Lakes Assurance Program Verification Act, R. 1647
    • Candice Miller (MI-10) reintroduced the Great Lakes Assurance Program Verification Act, which works through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to address agricultural non-point source pollution through education, technical assistance, and voluntary state verification programs
    • Of the funding appropriated to the USDA Environmental Quality Incentives program, up to $5 million may be used for the Great Lakes program in 2014; $8 million in 2015; $10 million in 2016; and $7 million in 2017.
    • The Food Security Act of 1985 authorized (Sec. 1241(a)(6)) up to $1.75 billion for FY2012-14 for the Environmental Quality Incentives program. Congress appropriated $1.373 billion to the program in FY12. The President requested $1.35 billion for FY14.


International Joint Commission releases final report on Upper Great Lakes Water Levels Management
The International Joint Commission (IJC released its final report with recommendations to the U.S. and Canadian governments on Great Lakes Water Level management. The report indicated the IJC will implement a new and improved plan for regulating the outflow of water from Lake Superior through the St. Mary’s River and into the rest of the Great Lakes, based on the five-year peer-reviewed study published in March 2012. The NEMWI, and the Great Lakes Task Force co-chairs as honorary co-sponsors, coordinated briefings on the study in March, after the initial release, and in December, after the public comment period. Additionally, the IJC recommended the U.S. and Canadian governments investigate structural options to restore Lakes Huron/Michigan water levels. These options could include use of engineering structures to slow the flow of water from Lakes Huron and Michigan into the St. Clair River and eventually into Lake Erie. The prospect of using these structures, known as “compensating works,” is attracting increased attention in the context of historic low water levels in Lakes Huron and Michigan. One of the U.S. Commissioners, Lana Pollack, declined to sign the recommendation letter, citing a lack of emphasis on climate change impacts and potential lack of positive impacts of the compensating works proposal. Finally, in addition to the change in water flow management, the IJC is continuing work on its adaptive management plan for helping communities deal with extreme water levels. The final Adaptive Management Report is currently being reviewed and informed by public comment received on the draft (closed April 15, 2013).

FY2014 Appropriations
Appropriations letters for FY2014 have been sent. The issue and funding/support requested for letters are listed and linked below.

House Great Lakes Task Force

Senate Great Lakes Task Force

Additional House Great Lakes Letters

  • Great Lakes Restoration Initiative: $300 Million
  • Energy and Water Subcommittee: “carefully monitoring” (signed by House Great Lakes Task Force Co-chairs Reps. John Dingell and Louise Slaughter)
    • Asian Carp Control and other aquatic nuisance species activities
    • Navigation Maintenance and Operations activities
    • Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration
    • Great Lakes Tributary Model program
    • Great Lakes Remedial Action Plan and Sediment Remediation
  • Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittee: “strong support” (signed by House Great Lakes Task Force Co-chairs Reps. John Dingell and Louise Slaughter)
    • Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
    • Coastal Zone Management grants
    • National Sea Grants
    • Great Lakes Observatory System
  • Interior and Environment Subcommittee: “carefully monitoring” (signed by House Great Lakes Task Force Co-chairs Reps. John Dingell and Louise Slaughter)
    • Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
    • BEACH grants
    • S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sea Lamprey control program
    • Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration program
    • S. Geological Survey’s Great Lakes Science Center
    • National Cooperative Geological Mapping Program
    • Land and Water Conservation Fund
    • Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds program

Additional House Letters (non-Great Lakes specific)


Council of Great Lakes Governors’ Leadership Summit, Friday, May 31 through Sunday, June 2, 2013 (Invitation only)
Governors of the eight Great Lakes States and Premiers of Quebec and Ontario will discuss policy issues relating to trade and economic development, transportation and water.

THE GREAT LAKES “FUNNY” (more peculiar this month)

Snowfall records set for April in Minnesota cities… records also broken in May