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GLIN==> Illinois Passes Great Lakes Compact.

For Immediate Release		

Molly Flanagan O: (734)769-3351 x24  C: (614) 582-6392	
Cecily Smith      O: (217) 344-2371  H: (217)351-0927

May 22, 2007	

Illinois Poised to Become Second State to Adopt Historic Great Lakes

(Springfield, IL) Today, the Illinois legislature made clear its
intention to protect the Great Lakes in perpetuity when they adopted the
Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact. The
Illinois House of Representatives unanimously adopted the Compact on
March 29, 2007.  The Senate joined them today with a unanimous vote in
favor of the Compact.  The bill will now go to Governor Blagojevich for
his signature.

Bill sponsors, Representative Osterman and Senator Cullerton, along
with Governor Blagojevich and Lieutenant Governor Quinn were
instrumental in securing the support of IL legislators and IL residents.
 *Compact support by both parties throughout the legislative process
demonstrates the value of Great Lakes water resources to Illinois,*
said Cecily Smith, spokesperson for the Illinois River conservation
group Prairie Rivers Network.  *Interest in bill sponsorship typically
resulted from legislators* first-hand experiences with the
environmental and recreational benefits provided by the Great Lakes.*

*With this vote, Illinois is taking an important step forward as a
leader in protecting and conserving Great Lakes water.  This Compact is
critical for the long-term protection of the lakes and will allow the
Great Lakes region to maintain control of its waters as demand continues
to grow throughout the nation and worldwide,* said Molly Flanagan,
Great Lakes Water Resources Program Manager at the National Wildlife

The Compact is the culmination of a multi-year process of negotiations
among the eight Great Lakes States. The Compact will protect Great Lakes
water supplies by implementing an effective water management plan,
including protections against water diversions out of the basin and the
promotion of water conservation measures within the basin. In order to
take effect, the Compact must be adopted by all eight Great Lakes state
legislatures, and consented to by the U.S. Congress. 

The Great Lakes governors endorsed the Compact in December 2005.  To
become law it must be adopted by each state legislature and receive the
consent of the U.S. Congress.  Minnesota became the first state to adopt
the Compact in February 2007.  So far in 2007, the New York Assembly has
also passed the Compact.  Legislation is pending in Indiana, Michigan
and the New York Senate.  Notably missing from this lineup is Ohio where
the House adopted the Compact in 2006, but the Senate ran out of time at
the end of session. Each Great Lakes state is expected to introduce
legislation before the year ends.

Flanagan states, *Passing the Compact is critical to protecting the
Great Lakes. We applaud the state of Illinois for their leadership and
hope that governors and legislatures in the other Great Lakes states
will also make adoption of the Compact a top priority.*


Molly M. Flanagan
National Wildlife Federation 
Great Lakes Natural Resource Center
213 West Liberty Street, Suite 200
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104
Phone: 734-769-3351  |  Fax: 734-769-1449 

NWF's mission is to inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future. 

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