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Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Friday, July 29, 2011

LaTourette has it both ways on the Great Lakes environment

Gotta’ give credit where credit is due.

U.S. Rep Steve LaTourette, R-Bainbridge Township, is enjoying both sides of the coin flip.

A couple of weeks ago he championed a House voice vote that pulls U.S. Environmental Protection Agency support from states like New York and Michigan which have designed stricter rules governing ballast water discharges into the Great Lakes.

LaTourette was heralded by the maritime industry and labor as being a job saver.

However, what New York and Michigan have done is to do what the federal government has foot-dragged on: Namely, come up with tough regulations that seek to keep out such invasive species as zebra mussels, round gobies and Asian carp.

Now LaTourette is crowing that he was able to secure an amendment that rebuilds the EPA’s Great Lakes funding budget by $50 million, taking the money from elsewhere in the agency’s proposed fiscal profile.

And just where will this additional money go? Why to “..mitigate toxic sustances in the Great Lakes, reduce the impact of invasive species like zebra muzzles and Asain carp...”

Note that LaTourette’s measure is not intended to keep out any additional invading pest; only to “...reduce...” their impact.

I wish I was that smart.

- Jeffrey L.Frischkorn


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