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Wisconsin Needs to Clarify its Authority to Regulate a Waukesha Diversion PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by Abby Kuranz, WiscCIC   
Sunday, 12 June 2016 11:04

lake-michiganLarge scale withdrawals of water, such as the diversion proposed from Lake Michigan to provide water to Waukesha, cast doubt on the state’s authority to manage and enforce conditions the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Water Resources Compact Council may require.


MADISON - Twenty five conservation groups from all across the Great Lakes basin called on the state of Wisconsin last week to clarify its authority to manage and regulate large scale withdrawals of water, such as the diversion proposed from Lake Michigan to provide water to Waukesha, Wisconsin. An opinion in early May 2016 by the Wisconsin State Attorney General casts doubt on the state’s authority to manage, regulate, and enforce conditions the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Water Resources Compact Council may require when approving a diversion.

Although the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact authorizes legal actions to compel compliance, the groups are calling on the state of Wisconsin to formally state for the record that it has this authority, and is willing and prepared to use this authority, when the Compact Council meets on June 21 to determine the fate of Waukesha’s diversion application. Additionally, the Compact Council must consider the Regional Body’s Declaration of Finding, public comments and other materials in the record before making its final decision whether the application meets the rigorous standards in the Compact.

The letter to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp can be found here. The Letter to the Compact Council can be found here

The 25 conservation groups include:
Action Minnesota - Clean Wisconsin – Environmental Advocates of New York – Freshwater Future – Friend of the Cloquet Valley State Forest - Great Lakes Committee Izaak Walton League – Izaak Walton League Minnesota Division –Michigan Environmental Council -– Midwest Environmental Advocates – Milwaukee Riverkeeper -Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy - Minnesota Conservation Federation – Minnesota Environmental Partnership – National Wildlife Federation – Natural Resources Defense Council - Ohio Environmental Council - River Alliance of Wisconsin – Save Lake Superior Association - Save Our Sky Blue Waters – Save the Dunes - Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council - Wisconsin Compact Implementation Coalition – Wisconsin Wildlife Federation

 
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