The Detroit News just reported that the US Senate voted 79-to-14 to override President Bush’s veto and authorize $23 billion of water projects nationwide. The override is the first of the Bush Presidency and the Senate followed the House’s 361-54 vote to override. Michigan’s entire delegation in the Senate AND House voted to override the veto.
The bill includes about 1/2 billion for Michigan projects including a new $342 million commercial shipping lock at Sault Ste. Marie, $3 million for shoreline protection along the Detroit River and $20 million to clean up St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair.
One of the most significant items for Michigan would be $35 million to correct sewage overflows, which occur during wet weather or equipment malfunction and hurt the Great Lakes, force beach closings and hurt tourism, erecting a $9 million permanent barrier in the Chicago River to stop the Asian carp from getting into the Great Lakes. The bill also authorizes additional money for restoring fish populations.
…St. Clair Channel keeper Doug Martz said the $20 million authorized to clean up St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair will boost tourism.
“Who wants to come and swim in polluted water and where beaches are closed?” Martz asked.
Read Senate defies Bush, enacts $23B water resources bill in the Detroit News.