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Great Lakes

Growing up on the shores of Lake Michigan has instilled in Fred a deep appreciation for Michigan’s wildlife and natural resources. As an active member of the Great Lakes Caucus and the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, he has an extensive record of working in a bipartisan manner to protect the Great Lakes watershed and preserve the beauty of our lakes for future generations. 

Please see below for more information: 

Fred, and the U.S. House, votes to fully fund the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for Fiscal Year 2019. 

Dredging begins in the St. Joseph outer harbor thanks to Fred's bipartisan efforts to secure funding for the project through the Great Lakes Navigation Operations and Maintenance budget. 

Fred fully supported the Consolidated Appropriations Package of 2018 that including full funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). 

Fred applauded news that the President's Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Proposal will include robust funding for Great Lakes Navigation Operations and Maintenance. This will directly impact Benton Harbor/St. Joseph Harbor and Holland Harbor here in Southwest Michigan. 

Fred joined a bipartisan chorus urging the administration to focus on the Great Lakes and urged the full funding of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), a vital program critical to protecting and promoting the Great Lakes. He then strongly came out against proposed cuts to the GLRI. 

Fred joined colleagues in requesting funding for the Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study which would help coastal communities in Southwest Michigan such as New Buffalo and St. Joseph. 

Fred personally met with Enbridge officials to demand improved transparency and worked with the State of Michigan on increased safeguards for the Line 5 pipeline, which runs under the Straits of Mackinac. 

Fred teamed up with U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Michigan, on an amendment to keep nuclear waste off the shores of the Great Lakes. 

Fred teamed up with U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Michigan, on opposing the reported closure of the Region 5 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) office which serves the Great Lakes.

Fred is fighting invasive species such as Asian Carp and continues to call for the release of the Brandon Road Study that will help foster solutions in the battle against Asian Carp. 

Fred again secured harbor dredging and maintenance for the Benton Harbor/St. Joseph harbor. 

Fred called for the immediate cleanup of a chemical spill that occurred on the shores of Lake Michigan. 

Fred lead the charge to ensure the U.S. Army Corps helps the town of New Buffalo with severe erosion. 

Fred supports proposed bipartisan legislation to upgrade the Soo Locks. 

Upton has teamed up with U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Michigan, on legislative fixes to the Flint Water Crisis and working to ensure all residents of Michigan have access to safe drinking water.

Additional achievements and results:  

Banning microbeads. In 2015, Fred helped usher a bipartisan piece of legislation through Congress that banned synthetic plastic microbeads. Microbeads are tiny scrubbers found in cleansers, body scrubs, and toothpaste. While nearly invisible, smaller than a pinhead, microbeads cause big problems once they are flushed down the drain. Because they are so small, microbeads easily flow through water filtration systems and end up in bodies of water, like the Great Lakes, where they can destroy wildlife and even poison fish. This is why we worked so hard to ban these microbeads. President Obama signed Fred's bipartisan legislation into law at the end of 2015.

Improving pipeline safety. In 2012, Fred worked across the aisle with Congressman John Dingell, D-Michigan, to craft and shepherd through the bipartisan Pipeline Infrastructure and Community Protection Act (H.R. 2937), which ensures vital updates and improvements are made in U.S. pipeline safety. This pipeline safety legislation was signed into law in January 2012. President Obama again signed into law our reauthorization of this legislation in June of 2016.

Fighting to keep pollutants out of Lake Michigan. In 2007, Fred learned that the State of Indiana had given a green light to BP to increase its daily dumping of ammonia and suspended solids into Lake Michigan from its Whiting, Indiana refinery. With the help of the Great Lakes Caucus, Fred helped lead a tremendous victory that August when BP acquiesced and announced that it would reverse its course of action and not increase dumping of hazardous chemicals into Lake Michigan. In light of a June 2009 Chicago Tribune story reporting that BP’s Whiting facility has been violating clean air permits for the last six years, Fred again joined his Great Lakes colleagues in calling for the EPA to immediately review all of BP’s reported ground, water, and air discharges.

Supporting the Allied Paper/Kalamazoo River Superfund site cleanup. Since 1990, Fred has been actively engaged with Kalamazoo City officials and residents who want to see the permanent removal of all PCB-contaminated materials from the Allied Disposal Site. Working with Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, Fred has called upon the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to work with the City to achieve total removal of the waste. 

Recent News:

WKZO: Funding to protect Great Lakes advances 

Herald-Palladium: Upton supports funding Great Lakes study 

MLive: Great Lakes funding included in U.S. House federal budget bill 

Herald-Palladium: Upton praises $2.5M more for SWM harbors 

Detroit News: Lawmakers to Army Corps: Don't delay Asian Carp study 


Michigan Radio: "Don't mess with the Great Lakes:" GOP Rep. Upton opposes rumored EPA Region 5 closure

WSJM: Upton Pledges Support for Dredging Projects 

MLive: Upton wants 'all-hands' response to chemical spill near Lake Michigan 

WOODTV: Upton demands Line 5 details from Enbridge 

WOODTV: Bill would keep nuclear waste out of Great Lakes basin 

WWMT Newschannel 3: Fishery commission battles sea lamprey invasion in Great Lakes 

MLive: Enbridge's lack of transparency 'unacceptable,' Upton says to CEO

MLive: Michigan lawmakers announce federal Soo Locks legislation ahead of tour 

WOODTV: Congressional task force encourages Trump to focus on Great Lakes 

Detroit News: Mich. reps urge Pruitt to keep Chicago EPA office 

WOODTV: Upton demands Line 5 details from Enbridge 

Op-eds: 

Celebrating our Great Lakes (Via Holland Sentinel

Bipartisanship key in working to protect Great Lakes (via Kalamazoo Gazette

As Asian Carp discovery raises stakes, White House must release study (via MLive) 

Fighting for our Great Lakes (via the Holland Sentinel

It's time for Congress to erase party lines and deliver a fix for Flint water (via MLive) 


















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