Below is the full text of a statement by a coalition of Wisconsin conservation organizations that urges the state Department of Natural Resources to seek information and clarification from the City of Waukesha before beginning to review its application for a diversion of Great Lakes water.
I thought I'd post it in its entirety, as it got, shall we say, short shrift - - well, actually, no shrift to speak of at all - - in a local online publication that referenced it this way:
"Meanwhile, a coalition of environmentalists who frequently submit news release stating their opposition to the city’s application again submitted statements that they felt the city’s application was not complete."So here is coalition's complete news release text:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 7, 2011
Contact: Jodi Habush Sinykin, Midwest Environmental Advocates (414) 507-0004 Cheryl Nenn, Milwaukee Riverkeeper (414) 378-3043
Coalition says Waukesha water application still incomplete, urges DNR to delay costly review process
WAUKESHA— A coalition of Wisconsin organizations urged the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to delay the beginning of its costly formal review of the City of Waukesha's request for a diversion of water from Lake Michigan until the city completely meets the DNR's request from six months ago for a completed and documented application that complies with all applicable legal requirements.
Jodi Habush Sinykin, with Midwest Environmental Advocates, states, “Waukesha has yet to provide the full extent of information and analysis that Wisconsin DNR properly requested more than six months ago; as such, neither the department nor the public has the information it needs to assess whether the City’s application meets the requirements of the Great Lakes Compact and other applicable laws.”
The Compact Implementation Coalition, a diverse group of Wisconsin environmental and conservation organizations, is committed to the proper implementation of the Great Lakes Compact in Wisconsin.
The group has repeatedly requested that Waukesha more fully address key issues raised in its application.
In a letter sent to the DNR this week, the Coalition highlights key areas of Waukesha’s application which remain insufficient to allow DNR, the public and other stakeholders to begin their evaluation of whether the application meets the requirements of the Great Lakes Compact, including:
• Establishing a need for a diversion.
• Reasonableness of the amount of water requested versus current needs, including analysis of the impacts of water conservation measures, both current and future, on reasonable need.
• Lack of agreements with potential water supplying cities to potentially provide the proposed amount of water and not even having begun negotiations over what the conditions of an agreement with each potential supplier would entail.
• Inadequate analysis of return flow options for all water supply sources--Waukesha has proposed sending all return flow to Lake Michigan through Underwood Creek regardless of which water supplier it would ultimately select, but the Compact states that return flow must be returned as close as practicable to the source of supply.
“Given the expense and time that it will take to evaluate and compare the merits and impacts of Waukesha’s various alternatives, our state and its citizens should not be drawn into this process until the City has done all of its homework and shared the information and analysis publicly,” stated Cheryl Nenn, Milwaukee Riverkeeper.
The Compact Implementation Coalition is a diverse group of environmental and conservation organizations working on water and related issues in Waukesha, southeastern Wisconsin, and statewide. The coalition is committed to the proper implementation of the Great Lakes Compact in Wisconsin. Members include Waukesha County Environmental Action League, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, Clean Wisconsin, Midwest Environmental Advocates, Milwaukee Riverkeeper, River Alliance of Wisconsin, and Sixteenth Street Community Health Center.