Saturday, December 15, 2007

State Legislators Promise Great Lakes Compact Action

A group of Wisconsin legislators wrote an op-ed in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel pledging to draft a bill to implement the Great Lakes Compact.

The Compact would establish first-ever standards and rules for water conservation in the Great Lakes states, along with procedures to approve diversions of water beyond the Great Lakes basin boundaries in some limited circumstances.

The legislators op-ed ran on the eve of the two-year anniversary of the signing of the Compact by the Great Lakes governors and Canadian provincial premiers - - and while the states of Illinois and Minnesota went ahead and passed legislation to implement it, Wisconsin has been unable in those two years to move a draft bill into the legislature for debate.

It appears that a draft bill will be introduced in early 2008: its prospects in the Assembly appear troubled, as opponents led by Waukesha County business interests have stalled earlier efforts by a joint legislators/public members' committee to draft a compromise proposal.

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