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GLIN==> EPA announces plans to protect lakes Erie, Michigan and Superior

Media Contact: Phillippa Cannon
(312) 353-6218
Karen Thompson
(312) 353-8547
For Immediate Release: April 27, 2000
No. 00-OPA083


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Environment
Canada today announced the release of comprehensive,
binational plans to protect and restore Lakes Erie,
Michigan, and Superior. The Lakewide Management Plans
(LaMPs) address problems in the entire ecosystem of each
lake, not just at polluted "hot spots." The plans
outline the environmental status of each lake, highlights
successes, identifies problems, and proposes solutions.
Because of the evolving nature of the lakes, the plans
will be updated every two years.

The release of the LaMPs coincides with the release of the
Lake Ontario Lakewide Management Plan Update and the Lake
Huron Initiative Report.

The plans were developed by EPA, Environment Canada, other
Federal agencies, and State, Provincial, local, and tribal
governments, in partnership with representatives of
academia, environmental groups, industry, and business.
"The plans are essentially snapshots of what we know about
each lake at this time. It has become apparent that we
cannot solely rely on traditional regulatory activities to
solve the lakes' complex problems," said Regional
Administrator Francis X. Lyons. "Effective solutions will
require a broader approach. In fact, some activities will
be accomplished more effectively at the community level by
private citizens and local governments, while others will
require international cooperation."

The Great Lakes are one of the most outstanding natural
resources in the world. They contain almost 20 percent of
the fresh water on the planet and provide drinking water to
more than 25 million people in the United States and
Canada. They are a shining example of environmental
protection at its best. While there has been a dramatic
reduction in pollutants entering the lakes over the last 30
years, complex problems remain.

Each lake has its unique concerns, but certain problems
affect all the lakes, such as contaminated sediments,
exotic species, and airborne pollutants. Many of these
problems originate outside the Great Lakes basin, such as
pesticides blown in from thousands of miles away and exotic
species stowed away in the ballast water of oceangoing

Proposed solutions are as broad and varied as the problems
they are attempting to solve. In addition to ongoing
attempts to control critical pollutants in waste water
discharges and clean up local hot spots, they include
measures such as ballast water controls, use of new air
pollution models to identify emission sources, pesticide
clean sweeps, control urban and agricultural runoff, and
promotion of private stewardship of the environment.
The plans also identify the environmental consequences of
shoreline development, including loss of habitat, and loss
of wetlands that help filter pollutants in storm water
runoff before they reach the lakes.

The LaMPs were initiated as part of the Great Lakes Water
Quality Agreement between the United States and Canada to
restore and maintain water quality in the Great Lakes.
Executive summaries of the plans for Lakes Erie, Michigan,
and Superior, the Lake Ontario Update, and the Lake Huron
Initiative Report are available on EPA's Web site


In the next several months, public meetings will be held
throughout the Great Lakes Basin to discuss the plans.

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