CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, December 9, 2014, the House will consider H.R. 5764, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2014, under a suspension of the rules. H.R. 5764 was introduced on November 20, 2014 by Rep. David Joyce (R-OH) and referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
H.R. 5764 amends the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1268(c)) to authorize the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The program is authorized for five years, and is established to carry out projects and activities for Great Lakes protection and restoration. The Initiative is intended to prioritize programs and projects carried out in coordination with non-Federal partners and programs that address priority areas, including: 1) the remediation of toxic substances and areas of concern; 2) the prevention and control of invasive species and the impacts of invasive species; 3) the protection and restoration of nearshore health and the prevention and mitigation of nonpoint sources pollution; 4) habitat and wildlife protection and restoration, including wetlands restoration and preservation; and 5) accountability, monitoring, evaluation, communication, and partnership activities.
Under the Initiative, the Environmental Protection Agency is required to collaborate with Federal partners, including the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force, to select the best combination of programs and projects for Great Lakes protection and restoration using appropriate principles and criteria. Funds made available to carry out the Initiative are required to be used to strategically implement Federal projects, and projects carried out in coordination with States, Indian tribes, municipalities, institutions of higher education, and others. The program is authorized to be appropriated at $300 million per year for each of fiscal years 2015 through 2019.
 These principles and criteria include whether a program or project provides: 1) the ability to achieve strategic and measurable environmental outcomes that implement the Great Lakes Action Plan and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement; 2) the feasibility of prompt implementation, timely achievement of results, and resource leveraging; and 3) the opportunity to improve interagency and inter-organizational coordination and collaboration to reduce duplication and streamline efforts.
“More than 1.5 million U.S. jobs are directly connected to the Great Lakes, generating $62 billion in wages annually.” This legislation would bring funding to $300 million, consistent with FY 2011 and FY 2012 appropriations levels.
 See Id.
A formal CBO score is not currently available. However, this legislation authorizes $300 million annual for each of fiscal years 2015-2019, which is consistent with recent appropriations.
For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.