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GLIN==> Governor Doyle Signs Historic Great Lakes Protections


For Immediate Release                                                                     Contact: David Naftzger

May 27, 2008                                                                                      Office: 312-407-0177

Mobile: 847-863-1679                                                                        dnaftzger@cglg.org



Momentum building as Wisconsin becomes fifth State to enact Compact


Madison, Wisconsin–Governor Jim Doyle, Council of Great Lakes Governors Chair, today signed Wisconsin’s legislation ratifying an interstate compact that will create unprecedented protections for the Great Lakes--St. Lawrence River Basin. 


Governor Doyle’s signing illustrates the regional and bi-partisan consensus that is growing in support of the compact.  Five of the eight Great Lakes States have now completed enactment of the compact’s protections—Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, New York and Wisconsin.  Both legislative chambers in Michigan have passed the compact although final approval is pending further action on related State implementing legislation.  One legislative chamber in Ohio and Pennsylvania has passed the compact, and further action is anticipated in coming days and weeks in both States.  To become law, the compact must be approved by each of the State legislatures and Congress must give its consent.  


"This is an outstanding day for all of Wisconsin. >From Lake Superior to the St. Lawrence River, our region is uniting to protect our waters, and I am

pleased to lead our state in signing this compact into law," Governor Doyle said. "Our Great Lakes waters in many ways define who we are.  And now the Great Lakes Compact will ensure that we protect this tremendous resource while responsibly using the water we need to prosper and grow."


In December 2005, following a nearly five-year negotiation, the Governors of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania reached agreement on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact.  The compact provides a comprehensive management framework for achieving sustainable water use and resource protection.  The eight Great Lakes States reached a similar, good faith, agreement with Ontario and Québec in 2005, which the Provinces are using to amend their existing water programs for greater regional consistency.


The interstate compact legislation signed today by Governor Doyle includes the following points:

·                     Economic development will be fostered through the sustainable use and responsible management of Basin waters.

·                     The States will ensure that authority over Great Lakes water uses is retained in the region. 

·                     Regional goals and objectives for water conservation and efficiency will be developed, and they will be reviewed every five years.  Each State will develop and implement a  water conservation and efficiency program. 

·                     The collection of technical data will be strengthened, and the States will share comparable information, which will improve decision-making by the governments. 

·                     There is a strong commitment to continued public involvement in the implementation of the compact.


To date, more than 1200 State legislators have voted to approve the Compact—about 95% of all legislators who have cast a vote on its protections.  Additionally, it has attracted the support of key members of Congress, Mayors and local government officials as well as more than 150 diverse groups of stakeholders who depend on the Great Lakes.


The five Great Lakes comprise the world’s largest surface freshwater system.  The Great Lakes generate $55 billion in tourism for the region and create nearly $377 million in personal income from wages and salaries.  Wisconsin’s harbors handle approximately 44 tons of cargo that support 11,000 jobs and are worth more than $7 billion a year.  The partners to the compact have worked to develop a program to carefully manage and protect the freshwaters of the region.  The complete text of the compact and additional information is available at www.cglg.org


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