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GLIN==> MI Approves Great Lakes Compact, Focus Shifts to PA

Title: MI Approves Great Lakes Compact, Focus Shifts to PA

Alliance for the Great Lakes
June 25, 2008
For Immediate Release

Michigan Approves Great Lakes Compact; Focus Shifts to Pennsylvania

The Michigan Legislature has approved the Great Lakes Compact and sent it on for the governor's signature, following a final Senate vote on the bill Wednesday.

Michigan's passage of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact leaves it just one state shy of adoption by all eight Great Lakes states, with Pennsylvania the final stop before it heads to the U.S. Congress for ratification.

"We're another step closer to Congress moving the compact forward," said Alliance Water Conservation Program Director Sharon Cook, noting Pennsylvania is preparing to adopt the legislation. "As soon as Pennsylvania approves it, Congress can approve the groundbreaking agreement it requested from the Great Lakes states eight years ago."

The Michigan House of Representatives passed the historic water pact with a vote of 108-0 Tuesday; Gov. Jennifer Granholm is expected to sign the legislation after it's reached her desk.

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.

Michigan lawmakers earlier this week reached a compromise on implementing language for the compact, having previously passed the compact itself. The Great Lakes states must approve identical versions of the compact, but can tailor the companion implementing legislation to meet their specific requirements.

In Pennsylvania, the Senate Committee on Environmental Resources and Energy voted unanimously for the House compact bill on June 10. The bill advanced to the Senate Appropriations Committee and is awaiting action.  If the full Senate adopts the bill the House has already adopted, Pennsylvania could also move into the win column.

"A quick move to Congress this summer will demonstrate how committed the Great Lakes states are to these historic water protections," Cook said.

Susan Campbell
Communications Manager
Alliance for the Great Lakes

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