Media Statement – Friday, April 22, 2016

“We commend the Regional Body for taking time to thoroughly review Waukesha’s precedent setting diversion request. The request is the first test of the Great Lakes Compact and must be given careful consideration.

We are not opposed to diversions as allowed under the Great Lakes Compact. However, it is critical that any diversion proposal meet the rigorous requirements of the Compact which were developed to safeguard the Great Lakes. We appreciate that the Regional Body is carefully weighing Waukesha’s proposal against the Compact’s requirements.”

Background

Waukesha, Wisconsin’s application to divert water from Lake Michigan is the first test of the Great Lakes Compact, a regional pact banning the diversion of Great Lakes water outside the basin, with limited exceptions.

Under the Great Lakes Compact, any diversion application must be approved by all eight Great Lakes states. The two Canadian provinces bordering the lakes, Ontario and Quebec, are allowed to provide input. Any state may veto the diversion application.

The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Water Resources Regional Body includes representatives from each of the jurisdictions, including the states and provinces. At the regional level, the Regional Body is the first step in the decision making process of any diversion request and makes a recommendation to the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Water Resources Compact Council. The Compact Council, which consists of only the governors of the eight Great Lakes states, will meet in the coming months to review the Regional Body’s recommendation and make a final decision on Waukesha’s request.

For more information, contact:

Regional
Jennifer Caddick, Alliance for the Great Lakes, jcaddick@greatlakes.org, (312) 445-9760
Marc Smith, National Wildlife Federation, msmith@nwf.org, (734) 887-7116
Margie Kelly, Natural Resources Defense Council, mkelly@nrdc.org, 312-651-7935

Indiana
Cathy Martin, Save the Dunes, 219-879-3564 x 126, cathy@savedunes.org

Michigan
Jennifer McKay, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, (231) 347-1181, jenniferm@watershedcouncil.org

Minnesota
Louise Segroves, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, lsegroves@mncenter.org, (651) 287-4872

New York
Travis Proulx, Environmental Advocates of New York, tproulx@eany.org, 518-462-5526 ext. 238

Ohio
Kristy Meyer, Ohio Environmental Council, kmeyer@theoec.org, (614) 487-5842

Wisconsin
Ezra Meyer, Clean Wisconsin, emeyer@cleanwisconsin.org, 608-843-3972
Jodi Habush Sinykin, Midwest Environmental Advocates, hslaw@bizwi.rr.com, 414-507-0004 Jennifer Bolger Breceda, Milwaukee Riverkeeper, jennifer@milwaukeeriverkeeper.org, 414-430-6446 Denny Canneff, River Alliance of Wisconsin, dcaneff@wisconsinrivers.org, 608-257-2424 x 115
Laurie Longtine, Waukesha County Environmental Action League, longtine@wi.rr.com, 262-894-8443 Peter McAvoy, Wisconsin Compact Implementation Coalition, pmcavoy11@gmail.com, (414) 426-0084 George Meyer, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, georgemeyer@tds.net, 608-516-5545

Download press release: Groups react as states, provinces commit to continue debate on precedent-setting Great Lakes diversion