WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that he secured $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). Brown also secured $1.394 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and $864 million for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). These funds will be included in the final Senate bill that appropriates federal funds for the Department of Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency. The Senate bill is expected to pass as early as today.
“Ohioans rely on Lake Erie for jobs, clean drinking water, and a place to enjoy with their families. I’m glad Senator Portman and I were able to ensure the GLRI is at full strength as communities continue their important work of keeping Lake Erie clean,” said Brown. “Separately, there are communities across Ohio that are struggling to afford expensive – but vital – renovations to outdated water and sewer systems. This increased funding for Ohio will provide financial relief for Ohio communities, boosting economic development and ensuring cleaner water.”
GLRI is a highly successful program that has jumpstarted restoration efforts to protect, maintain, and restore the chemical, biological, and physical integrity of the Great Lakes. Brown joined Portman and bipartisan group of members on the Senate Great Lakes Task force in writing a letter to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, to request full funding for GLRI.
In March, Brown and Portman announced full funding of $300 million for the GLRI in the government funding measure signed into law in March. Last year, the President proposed eliminating GLRI and the Senators worked together to ensure it was fully funded in this appropriations bill for the rest of the fiscal year. President Trump’s most recent budget proposed cutting GLRI by 90 percent. The Obama administration also proposed cuts to the program. The package Congress is expected to vote on this week will ensure GLRI is fully funded through the end of the fiscal year.
The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) programs provide funding to federal-state partnerships that help ensure local water sources are protected from pollution. These SRF programs allow state governments to provide communities with financial assistance, including loans and grants, to build or update water and sewer systems.