Groups to Join in Great Lakes Cleanup
ABC News/Associated Press
Published December 6th, 2004
CHICAGO Dec 6, 2004 — Dozens of government and tribal
leaders are joining forces to preserve the Great Lakes
from environmental dangers, but some say more money and
a clear action plan are still needed make sure the job
Friday's gathering, where participants signed a declaration
of support for cleaning up the Great Lakes, was prompted
by an executive order issued in May by President Bush.
He named a 10-member Cabinet-level task force, chaired
by Environmental Protection Agency chief Michael Leavitt,
to coordinate cleanup among states, federal agencies and
"For the first time, we'll demonstrate to the Congress
and the nation that the Great Lakes community speaks with
one voice. For the first time, we will make the restoration
of the Great Lakes a national priority," said Ohio
Gov. Bob Taft, co-chairman of the Council of Great Lakes
Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., said he supports the effort
if it is backed with a funding commitment from Congress.
He said action must be taken soon to reduce environmental
threats to the Great Lakes.
The General Accounting Office found last year that 33
federal and 17 state programs have spent more than $1.7
billion on the environmental restoration of the Great
Lakes. The efforts were uncoordinated, however, and the
results were difficult to measure, the GAO said.