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GLIN==> Wisconsin Adopts Great Lakes Compact

Title: Wisconsin Adopts Great Lakes Compact

Alliance for the Great Lakes

Thursday, May 15, 2008
For Immediate Release

Joel Brammeier, Alliance Vice President for Policy
312-939-0838 x224

Wisconsin Adopts Great Lakes Compact

Wisconsin lawmakers passed the Great Lakes Compact overwhelmingly Wednesday, marking the first time a majority of the eight Great Lakes state legislatures has approved the landmark water protections and moved the compact to the governor’s desk for signature.

The Wisconsin Senate adopted the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact and implementation language with a vote of 32-1. The Assembly passed the legislation 96-1 later in the day.

"The Alliance applauds Wisconsin's endorsement of the compact before ending the session," said Sharon Cook, director of the Alliance's water conservation program. "We're over the halfway mark on the number of states that need to pass the compact before the U.S. Congress has an opportunity to ratify."

Cook said the action proves the states can come together as a region to protect the Great Lakes. That bodes well for other legislation on the table, such as proposals to provide federal dollars for Great Lakes restoration, and the Great Lakes Legacy Act -- which aims to clean up contaminated sites in the Great Lakes known as "Areas of Concern."

Already endorsed by Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and New York, the compact must pass each of the Great Lakes states before being ratified by Congress. Michigan lawmakers are now poised to adopt an implementing package tied to the compact, having voted unanimously in support of the compact itself.

Established two years ago by the region's governors -- along with a companion agreement in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec -- the compact provides a model for a standardized, consensus-based approach to decisions about Great Lakes water use.

For more information, see http://www.greatlakes.org/NETCOMMUNITY/Page.aspx?pid=723&srcid=476

Susan Campbell
Communications Manager
Alliance for the Great Lakes

Visit http://www.greatlakes.org