For Immediate Release
September 23, 2008
Governors Applaud Historic Action to Protect the Lakes
Today’s House action follows similar action by the U.S. Senate on
August 1 led by Senators Carl Levin (D-Michigan) and George V. Voinovich
(R-Ohio). The resolution now goes to President George W. Bush who has
committed to sign it. These actions complete a historic process to protect the
In December 2005, following a nearly five-year negotiation, the
Governors of Illinois,
During 2007 and 2008, each of the eight
Wisconsin Governor Jim
Doyle, Council of Great Lakes Governors Chair, said, “I applaud the
members of Congress for their leadership in protecting the
Jennifer Granholm said, “By approving the Great Lakes Compact today,
Congress has acted in a historic manner to ensure that the
“Passage of the
Great Lakes Compact is central to ensuring that harmful water diversions are
controlled and this precious ecosystem is protected for future
generations,” said New York Governor David Paterson. “The Great
Lakes, constituting nearly twenty percent of the world's available fresh water
and ninety percent of the
“Congress did the
right thing today in approving this landmark agreement,” Ohio Governor
Ted Strickland said. “I am particularly thankful to the members of
The Compact includes the following points:
· Economic development will be fostered through sustainable use and responsible management of Basin waters.
· In general, there will be a ban on new diversions of water from the Basin but limited exceptions could be allowed in communities near the Basin when rigorous standards are met.
· Communities that apply for an exception will have a clear, predictable decision making process; standards to be met; and, opportunities to appeal decisions. These processes and standards do not exist under current law.
· The States will use a consistent standard to review proposed uses of Basin water. The States will have flexibility regarding their water management programs and how to apply this standard.
· 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 that may be voluntary or mandatory.
· There is a strong commitment to continued public involvement in the implementation of the Compact.
A broad, bi-partisan consensus has been built in support of the Compact. The Compact was developed in collaboration with regional partners who have also played a key role in its implementation. Members of Congress, Mayors, local government officials and stakeholders have all been instrumental.
Additional information is available at www.cglg.org.
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Contact: David Naftzger