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Toxic Pollutants

While certain persistent toxic substances (PTS) have been significantly reduced in the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem over the past 30 years, they continue to be present at levels that pose threats to human and wildlife health, warrant fish consumption advisories in all five lakes, and disrupt a way of life for many in the basin, particularly the life ways and culture of tribal communities. PTS releases from contaminated bottom sediments, various industrial processes, and non-point sources, loadings from atmospheric deposition, contaminated groundwater, and continuous cycling of PTS within the Great Lakes themselves, all contribute to this ongoing problem. More recently, researchers have documented the presence of additional chemicals of emerging concern that may also pose threats to the Great Lakes. Characteristics of these substances, such as sources, releases, fate, transport, persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity, must be better understood.


Legislative Activities

Energy and Commerce leaders investigate cover-up of Great Lakes report
Committee on Energy and Commerce (2008-02-28)
Reps. John D. Dingell (D-MI), the Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Bart Stupak (D-MI), the Chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, announced an investigation today into the withholding of a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that reportedly demonstrates a correlation between pollution in the Great Lakes and health issues such as cancer mortality and higher infant mortality rates.

Appellate Panel Rejects E.P.A. Emission Limits
The New York Times (2008-02-09)
A three-judge federal appeals panel in Washington struck down on Friday the Environmental Protection Agency limits on mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants. The panel said the agency had ignored its legal obligation to require the strictest possible controls on the toxic metal or to justify an alternative approach. The ruling against a signature environmental policy of the Bush administration is the latest to reverse agency actions as inconsistent with environmental laws.



Legislative Priorities

 Great Lakes Air Deposition Program

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Updated: October 23, 2014
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