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What They Are Reading in the States: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Invests $1B in the Great Lakes Region

February 18, 2022

'Joe Biden says Great Lakes funding will allow the 'most significant' restoration effort in history'

News outlets across the Great Lakes region are reporting on President Biden's announcement that $1 billion from his Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will be made available to clean-up the most environmentally degraded sites in seven states -- Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin -- securing clean drinking water and a better environment for millions of Americans.

To highlight the announcement, President Biden and EPA Administrator Michael Regan traveled to Lorain, Ohio on Thursday, and senior administration officials are fanning out across the Great Lakes region to speak directly to the American people about how these transformational investments will create good paying jobs, confront legacy pollution and deliver significant environmental, health, and recreational benefits for local communities.

Here's a sampling of the local coverage:


Cleveland Plain-Dealer: Joe Biden says Great Lakes funding will allow the 'most significant' restoration effort in history
[Seth Richardson, 2/17/22]

Drawing on the words of famed author and Lorain-native Toni Morrison, President Joe Biden on Thursday said cities like Lorain and the rest of Ohio have much to look forward to in the future while announcing $1 billion in funding for restoration of the Great Lakes…The $1 billion in spending, announced Thursday morning before Biden's arrival in Ohio, would allow the clean-up of 22 out of 25 "areas of concern" in the Great Lakes region by 2030, according to the administration. That includes the Cuyahoga, Black and Maumee rivers in Ohio.

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH): Biden makes Lorain visit to announce $1B for Great Lakes restoration
[Richard Payerchin, 2/17/22]

The city of Lorain shows what's possible as the United States makes a historic investment in the Great Lakes, said President Joe Biden…The president visited Lorain on Feb. 17 to announce $1 billion in new Great Lakes restoration funding, part of the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law…The Midwest, not Wall Street, made America, and manufacturing jobs are returning even as people care more for the environment, he said.

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH): Northeast Ohio officials fueled by Biden's promise of restoration
[Aliah Kimbro, 2/17/22]

Several local leaders say President Joe Biden's visit to Lorain has reinvigorated them…The president discussed a $1 billion investment into the restoration and maintenance of the Great Lakes with a focus on environmental protection…There also could be 10,000 union jobs available as a part of the new developments on Lake Erie…Lorain Mayor Jack Bradley said it is a day to remember because development and restoration plans will shift the city immensely.

Akron Beacon-Journal: Biden pledges $1 billion for Great Lakes cleanup during visit to Northeast Ohio
[Abby Marshall, 2/17/22]

President Joe Biden announced Thursday an unprecedented investment in restoring and cleaning up the Great Lakes as part of his Bipartisan Infrastructure Law… Biden touted the newly unveiled spending plan, which will funnel $1 billion into accelerating the cleanup of the Great Lakes in sites across six states…The bulk of the funding will focus on continued restoration work in 25 designated "areas of concern," including the Cuyahoga River in Northeast Ohio. Biden said a study found that…regions supported by the Great Lakes could experience a $3 to $4 billion economic boom...Biden concluded his remarks with a quote from writer Toni Morrison, a Lorain native.


Chicago Tribune: Lake's water quality to get boost; Toxic dumping grounds targeted in infrastructure plan
[Morgan Greene, 2/18/22]

Pollution hot spots including toxic dumping grounds that still feed into Lake Michigan are among the sites that stand to benefit from a $1 billion boost in funding for cleaning up the Great Lakes. The additional funds for Great Lakes restoration from the bipartisan infrastructure plan will largely bankroll work at some of the most contaminated sites throughout the region, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday. […] State and local officials said the investment was an important step toward protecting the Great Lakes and communities affected by environmental injustice. The EPA said the $1 billion will be distributed in line with the Biden administration initiative to deliver at least 40% of benefits from major federal investments to underserved communities.

WMBD (CBS Peoria, IL): $1 billion to EPA for cleaning up degraded Great Lakes sites, improve water quality
[Shabnam Danesh, 2/17/22]

$1 billion from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has been allocated for the Environmental Protection Agency to clean up the Great Lakes…"The advantage of this influx of money from the bipartisan infrastructure law is that it allows all of this work to be advanced really, really quickly. So we can do more of it quicker than we otherwise would be able to do," said EPA Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe…McCabe said it is the biggest investment ever into the Great Lakes. She said the Great Lake is an important economic driver for the Midwest, so cleaning them up will have downstream benefits.


The Detroit News: $1B in federal funding for Great Lakes will clean up of 9 areas in Michigan by 2030
[Melissa Nann Burke and Riley Beggin, 2/17/22]

$1 billion for the federal Great Lakes restoration program from the bipartisan infrastructure bill will speed the cleanup of nine damaged areas in Michigan to completion by 2030, officials said Thursday. The Michigan areas to be cleaned up, including the Detroit, Rouge and St. Clair rivers and River Raisin, are among 25 in the lakes region designated as "areas of concern" by the Environmental Protection Agency due to damage caused by industrial pollution, development and agriculture runoff. President Joe Biden announced the new funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative during a trip Thursday to Lorain, Ohio, noting that the United States and Canada three decades ago made a commitment to restore polluted waterways and habitats that flow into the freshwater lakes.

The Oakland Press: Michigan receiving $1 billion from EPA to accelerate Great Lakes cleanup efforts
[Mark Cavitt, 2/17/22]

The federal government is providing the State of Michigan with an additional $1 billion to help accelerate ongoing Great Lakes cleanup efforts as part of the $1 trillion Infrastructure and Jobs Act, which was signed by President Biden last fall…The one-time investment, which is in addition to funding Congress approves annually for the program, will accelerate the cleanup and restoration by 2030 of nine high-priority Michigan watersheds that flow into the Great Lakes. These include the Clinton River, Detroit River, Manistique River, Muskegon Lake, River Raisin, Rouge River, St. Clair River, St. Marys River, and Torch Lake areas…Stabenow said this new infusion of federal funding is a game changer for our state.

WZZM (ABC Grand Rapids, MI): President Biden, EPA announce $1 billion investment in cleanup and restoration of the Great Lakes

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will make significant progress in the ongoing restoration and cleanup efforts of the Great Lakes with $1 billion in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law …"The EPA's announcement shows that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is already delivering for Michigan," said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer…The funding will be awarded by the EPA accordance with the Biden Administration's Justice40 Initiative, which promises to deliver at least 40% of the overall benefits from key federal investments to underserved communities.

WXYZ (ABC Detroit, MI): EPA, Biden Administration to use $1B to clean up, restore damaged areas of Great Lakes

The Environmental Protection Agency and Biden administration say they plan on using $1 billion to cleanup and restore damaged parts of the Great Lakes…The funding will come from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, also known as "Areas of Concern" or AOCs…The funding will secure clean water and a better environment for the Great Lakes region…According to the EPA, the funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law combined with funds from the annual Great Lakes Restoration Initiative will allow the agency and its partners to complete work across 22 of 25 areas of concerns by the end of 2030.

WWTV (CBS Traverse City, MI): Infrastructure Bill Provides $1 Billion For Great Lakes Cleanup

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is getting the single-largest investment it's ever seen. The federal infrastructure bill will provide $1 billion dollars for nine high priority water sources for the Great Lakes. That money will go towards lakes, rivers and watersheds to speed up cleanup and restoration by 2030. Cleanup will happen at the Clinton River, Detroit River, Manistique River, Muskegon Lake, River Raisin, Rouge River, St. Clair River, St. Mary's River and Torch Lake. The state started identifying water sources as "areas of concern" starting in 1987.


Duluth News: Great Lakes money to aid hotspot cleanup
[John Myers, 2/17/22]

The Biden administration on Thursday announced it will use the bulk of $1 billion approved by Congress last fall for Great Lakes restoration efforts, specifically to clean up areas of concern like the St. Louis River estuary in the Twin Ports. The Environmental Protection Agency said it is prioritizing the pollution hotspots so 22 of the remaining 25 areas of concern on the U.S. side of the Great Lakes can be cleaned up and delisted by 2030. The $1 billion was earmarked by Congress for Great Lakes work as part of the massive $1 trillion infrastructure bill that passed Congress and was signed into law by the president in November.

WBJR (CBS3 Duluth, MN): President Biden announces $1B in cleaning, restoring the Great Lakes
[Bo Fogal, 2/17/22]

The Great Lakes is an essential asset for millions of residents across multiple states, but years of industrial use has caused major damage to the water boundaries. But new funding was announced Thursday that will help begin restoration. President Biden has announced an investment of $1 billion into cleaning up and restoring the Great Lakes as well as numerous water reservoirs. Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin says this major investment is a necessity…City officials agreed that this work is much needed.

New York

WKBW (ABC Buffalo, NY): EPA announces $1B to restore, protect Great Lakes waterways (
[Tim Meehan, 2/17/22]

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday it will invest $1 billion to protect and restore waterways in the Great Lakes region…According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Niagara River, Buffalo River and Eighteenmile Creek are all on the list of 25 areas of concern the EPA is looking to clean up…The DEC says the Buffalo River is on track to be delisted well before that date and may be completely cleaned up as early as 2026. According to the DEC, most of the major work is already done but monitoring of fish species, contaminants and the health of the riverbed are ongoing.

Buffalo News: Local Great Lakes 'areas of concern' to be cleaned up by 2030
[Jeff Zremski, 2/17/22]

All three of the polluted waterways on the federal list of Great Lakes "areas of concern" – the Buffalo River, the Niagara River and Eighteen Mile Creek – are on target to be cleaned up by 2030, the Biden administration was set to announce on Thursday. Officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in December that the Buffalo River would be removed from the list of polluted waterways by 2025, but the White House announcement for the first time sets a likely end date for the cleanups of the Niagara River and Eighteen Mile Creek.


WICU/WSEE (NBC Erie, PA): President Biden Visits Lake Erie to Discuss Cleaning Up of Great Lakes

President Joe Biden visited Lake Erie this afternoon to discuss how $1B from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill is going to clean up the Great Lakes…Most of that money will go towards so-called "Areas of concern" along the Great Lakes…So far, six of these areas of concern, including Erie's Presque Isle Bay, have been addressed years ago…Biden says the Great Lakes are a vital economic engine for the region, supporting more than a million of jobs and supplying drinking water for more than 40 million people.


Wisconsin Examiner: $1 billion in Great Lakes funding will help Milwaukee Estuary
[Isiah Holmes, 2/18/22]

$1 billion worth of aid is coming to regions of the Great Lakes affected by chronic water contamination. That includes the Milwaukee Estuary, which has been designated as an Area Of Concern (AOC) since 1987. […] On Thursday President Joe Biden announced $1 billion in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding.

Wisconsin Politics: WisDems: Wisconsin leaders applaud Biden-Harris administration for Great Lakes funding

This morning, the Biden-Harris administration announced that $1 billion from President Biden's infrastructure plan will clean up projects across the Great Lakes and fund critical restoration efforts right here in Wisconsin.

Joseph R. Biden, What They Are Reading in the States: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Invests $1B in the Great Lakes Region Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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