Senate approves Great Lakes Compact and Richardville resolution to safeguard Michigan waters
LANSING—The Senate today approved the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact as well as a resolution urging the Great Lakes states to resist changes to the compact and adopt it as presented, said Sen. Randy Richardville, sponsor of the resolution and co-sponsor of the bill.
“The compact will prevent diversions and preserve the Great Lakes for the mutual economic and social interest of the entire region,” said Richardville, R-Monroe. “It will help eliminate the uncertainty among water users and provide additional protection for Michigan waters and those whose economic livelihood depends on access to them.”
Senate Bill 212 would adopt the compact which develops common measures for each state in the basin to regulate in-state withdrawals and prohibits out-of-basin water diversions. Key provisions in the bills will ensure that the Michigan Legislature be involved in any changes to the compact and preserves Michigan’s authority to conduct its own water management program.
Senate Resolution 154 urges states within the Great Lake Basin to pass the compact as signed by all eight governors in 2005.
“While some states wish to alter the compact, changes made by any Great Lakes state at this point would lead to several more years of negotiations and hinder our opportunity to protect our waters for generations to come,” Richardville said.
With the Senate’s passage of the compact, Michigan is one step closer to approving the agreement, which has already been signed into law by Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota and New York. Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ohio are still considering the compact with possible changes.
The legislation has received support from many organizations, including the Michigan Farm Bureau, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, and The Water Works Coalition made up of 15 groups, including the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Manufacturers Association and Michigan Municipal League.
SB 212 will now advance to the House for consideration.
Posted: Wednesday, May 14, 2008
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