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Advisory board created to carry out Great Lakes Restoration, Water Quality plans


WASHINGTON D.C. (WTAQ) - The federal EPA took another step Thursday toward protecting the Great Lakes.

Administrator Lisa Jackson said an advisory board has been created to suggest ways for federal agencies to carry out the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

Jackson will lead the task force, which will have members from 16 federal agencies that are involved in the two programs. The EPA expects to have the board up and running this summer, after accepting nominations for prospective members.

Jackson says the goal is to give stakeholders a greater say in the clean-ups and preservation efforts for the Great Lakes.

The Restoration Initiative is designed to tackle the Great Lakes’ toughest environmental problems – like invasive species and toxic pollution. Congress has approved over $1 billion in funding for the initiative, and President Obama wants to spend another $300 million on the various projects in the next fiscal year.

The water quality agreement identifies concerns that need long-range attention by both the U.S. and Canada. The 40-year-old agreement has been revised several times. And talks are currently taking place on a new update.