Mayors endorse State and Provincial accord to restore Lake Erie
Federal Governments encouraged to jump on board
Sarnia, ON June 17, 2015 – Today, at the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative annual meeting, mayors from the United States and Canada congratulated the Premier of Ontario and the Governors of Ohio and Michigan for their leadership in joining forces under the Western Lake Erie Collaborative Agreement. The accord, announced late last week, commits the jurisdictions to reduce phosphorus in Lake Erie by 40% over the next decade, with an interim goal of 20% by 2020.
“Premier Wynne, Governors Kasich of Ohio and Governor Snyder of Michigan are to be congratulated for demonstrating outstanding leadership in committing jointly to a decade of action to save Lake Erie,” said incoming Cities Initiative chair Mitch Twolan, mayor of Huron-Kinloss (ON), “Mayors of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence stand together with the Premier and Governors in our commitment to do what it takes to achieve 40% phosphorus reductions by 2025.”
Just last week, the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative called on federal, state and provincial governments to commit to hard deadlines to reduce algae in Lake Erie. Canada and the U.S. have yet to release their proposed phosphorus reduction targets for Lake Erie for public comment. The two Governments have committed to setting targets by 2016 and develop domestic action plans to reach these reduction targets by 2018.
“With the commitment to 40% reduction by Ontario, Ohio and Michigan, we now need our federal governments to show similar leadership” said Cities Initiative Board member John Dickert, mayor of Racine, (WI), “We encourage Canada and Ontario to immediately release their proposed Lake Erie targets for public consultation and to commit to reaching the interim and 2025 target dates outlined in the Western Lake Erie Collaborative Agreement.”
Also at the Cities Initiative Annual General Meeting, member mayors passed a resolution calling for more stringent, harmonized safety measures to prevent oil train derailments that have been occurring on a regular basis throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence basin.
“The goal must be zero derailments of trains carrying highly volatile oil,” said Cities Initiative Board member Denis Lapointe, mayor of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield (QC). “To reach that goal, the replacement of outdated train cars must be accelerated and harmonized across the border.”
The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative is a coalition of more than 110 Canadian and US mayors, representing over 17 million people, who work together to promote, protect and restore the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence.