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News and Events

March 8, 2018

Phase II of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Economic Impact Study Underway

The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation approved a grant to support the second phase of the GLRI Economic Impact Study. The study, which began in June 2017, aims to quantify the economic impacts of U.S. federal investments under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) from 2010 through 2016. The first phase concluded in October 2017, and provided a preliminary, “rough cut” estimate of the economic impact of the GLRI using immediately available data and research tools. The second phase will expand on the Phase I results and yield a more comprehensive estimate of the economic impact of GLRI investments.

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Registration is open for the Great Lakes Economic Forum

Registration is open for the fourth Great Lakes Economic Forum (GLEF) in Montreal, Quebec from May 3-5. GLEF a cross-border conference and trade expo that brings together senior leaders from business, government, academia, and the nonprofit sector from across the eight Great Lakes states and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec to discuss critical issues that impact the Great Lakes economy. GLEF is hosted and convened by the Council of the Great Lakes Region (CGLR).

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Foxconn Development: City of Racine, WI Water Diversion Application

Foxconn Technology Group, a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer, has announced plans to build a $10 billion manufacturing complex in Mt. Pleasant, WI that reportedly will bring up to 13,000 jobs to southeastern Wisconsin. The facility will be constructed in an “electronics and information technology manufacturing zone” that the Wisconsin legislature created in September 2017. The complex will be constructed in a portion of Mt. Pleasant that is partly inside the Great Lakes basin and partly in the Mississippi River basin.

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Great Lakes Coalition Issues Joint Statement of U.S. Legislative Priorities

On March 5, a coalition of Great Lakes organizations released a joint statement of U.S. legislative priorities for the Great Lakes region. The statement encourages Congress to fully fund GLRI, maintain base agency budgets for important Great Lakes programs, strengthen conservation programs in the 2018 Farm Bill, boost funding for water infrastructure, strengthen programs that prevent and control invasive species, and maintain and upgrade navigation infrastructure. The legislative priorities will be presented to legislators at Great Lakes Day in Washington, DC on March 7.

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January 15, 2018

Regional Body and Compact Council will review and revise water withdrawal and diversion procedures

The Regional Body and Compact Council of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Water Resources Compact and Agreement will review and update the procedures they use to review applications for diversions of water from the Great Lakes. This is the first time the procedures have been formally revisited since the Compact and Agreement were adopted in 2008. By contrast to the interim procedures that the RB/CC established previously, the procedural review that the RB/CC now intends will be conducted under the rulemaking authorities in the Compact and Agreement.

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January 5, 2018

Nuclear regulatory agencies recommend against including radionuclides as potential CMC

Nuclear regulatory agencies in the U.S. and Canada recommend against evaluating radionuclides as potential Chemicals of Mutual Concern under Annex 3 of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Both the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission refute the conclusion that “…there is no level of radionuclides below which exposure can be defined as ‘safe;’ therefore, very low levels of exposure can be significant.” Both agencies state that this claim is incorrect and that it is very difficult to establish the risk of low doses over a lifetime because the risk “is not known with certainty and could be zero.” ECCC and U.S. EPA are considering these recommendations as they prepare to move forward towards reviewing a new set of substances for potential CMC listing later this year.

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October 24, 2017

Introducing Todd Schmidt, CGLI’s Chemical Management Specialist

Todd Schmidt of TRC Environmental Solutions, Inc. (TRC) has joined CGLI as Chemical Management Specialist. In that role, Todd will work with Dale Phenicie, CGLI’s Technical Director, on chemical management issues and the Chemical Management Work Group.

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CIGLR offers opportunity for research partnerships

A new research institute in the Great Lakes region (the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research, or CIGLR) is interested in partnering with industry and other partners and affiliates to develop a research agenda for the Great Lakes. CIGLR’s research priorities include a wide range of Great Lakes issues, including issues that impact the human dimension of the Great Lakes system.

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USACE study evaluates options for Asian carp controls at Brandon Road Lock and Dam

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has released a study that evaluates six alternatives for controlling the one-way, upstream transfer of ANS from the Mississippi River basin into the Great Lakes basin at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Joliet, IL. USACE asserts that the tentatively selected plan reduces the risk that Asian carp from the Mississippi River basin will establish populations in the Great Lakes basin to the maximum extent possible while minimizing impacts to waterway uses and users.

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Great Lakes Commission adopts a resolution that addresses “chemicals of emerging concern”

The Great Lakes Commission (GLC) has adopted a resolution that urges action related to chemicals of emerging concern (CECs). The resolution defines CECs as “a wide variety of compounds that are present in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence river basin that are not widely or consistently regulated,” and highlights polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), pharmaceuticals, 1,4-Dioxane, and microplastics as examples.

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