Biden to highlight $1B in funding for Great Lakes cleanup during Ohio visit

President Biden speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House
Associated Press/Patrick Semansky

President Biden on Thursday will travel to Ohio to highlight a $1 billion investment in the cleanup of environmentally degraded sites in the Great Lakes through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed and signed late last year.

Biden will visit Lorain, Ohio, near the banks of Lake Erie to tout the benefits of the funding for the lake restoration efforts. The infrastructure law includes funding specifically for the Great Lakes, which is a major source of drinking water for communities in the Midwest.

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to use most of the $1 billion in funding to address “Areas of Concern” that have been polluted by years of agricultural work or manufacturing in cities along the lakes like Buffalo, Detroit and Cleveland.

“The Great Lakes are a vital economic engine and an irreplaceable environmental wonder, supplying drinking water for more than 40 million people, supporting more than 1.3 million jobs, and sustaining life for thousands of species,” EPA administrator Michael Regan, who will join Biden on Thursday, said in a statement. “Through the investments from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we will make unprecedented progress in our efforts to restore and protect the waters and the communities of the Great Lakes basin.”

The EPA listed 25 “Areas of Concern” that it plans to address with the funding, with the goal of restoring 22 of them by the year 2030. The White House has framed the restoration efforts as an environmental and economic boost for nearby communities.

Among the areas along the Great Lakes expected to benefit from the $1 billion in funding are Waukegan, Ill.; Niagara River, N.Y.; Cuyahoga River, Ohio; Torch Lake, Mich.; and Grand Calumet River, Ind.

Biden’s trip to Ohio marks his latest effort to shine a light on the benefits of the bipartisan infrastructure law, a roughly $2 trillion bill he signed late last year. It was one the administration’s major accomplishments, winning Republican support in both chambers of Congress even as the president’s broader “Build Back Better” agenda stalled in the Senate. The president has previously traveled to Pennsylvania to tout funding for bridges allocated through the infrastructure law.

Tags Great Lakes cleanup Joe Biden Michael Regan Ohio

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