carl-levin-ap-photo.jpgSen. Carl Levin (D-Michigan).

Democrat Carl Levin of Michigan and Republican Mark Kirk of Illinois will serve as co-chairmen of the U.S. Senate’s Great Lakes Task Force for the next two years.

Levin has represented his party on the task force since 1999, while Kirk is taking over for fellow Republican Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio, who retired in January.

The bipartisan group deals with Great Lakes issues that involve the federal government. It has supported an interstate compact to protect water supplies and funding for programs such as invasive species control and cleanup of contaminated sediments.

Kirk said Tuesday he hoped the panel also would develop legislation to crack down on dumping raw sewage into the lakes.

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