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Great Lakes, Piketon Plant See Budget Boost

Satellite view of toxic algal bloom on Lake Erie
NASA Earth Observatory

 A wide-ranging Great Lakes cleanup program appears to have survived budget talks in Congress. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative would get $300 million next year under a massive spending bill expected to go to a vote this week.

The initiative created by President Barack Obama works on pollution, invasive species and algae bloom issues in the lakes.

But Obama’s budget request this year was less than the amount that usually goes to the project—lawmakers from Great Lakes states pushed for full funding.

Another victory for Ohio's delegation in the budget bill is full funding for the cleanup at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant. The plant in Pike County sent out hundreds of layoff notices over the summer after learning their funding might be cut under the new budget. The Department of Energy will still decide exactly how to allocate the funds, but a spokesperson for the plant says layoffs appear unlikely.