Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wisconsin DNR Begins Important Hearings Tonight On Waukesha's Great Lakes Diversion Proposal

Forget those stage-managed dog-and-pony shows cobbled together by PR specialists that the City of Waukesha and its Common Council has put on in support of its plan to divert Great Lakes water to the City, Town of Waukesha and other nearby lands:

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is beginning tonight a series of technical presentations and hearings to evaluate the applicability of the City's plan under state law and the eight-state Great Lakes Compact of 2008.

Tonight's meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. at Waukesha County Technical College, Business Building, Lecture Hall B140 and B130, 800 Main Street, Pewaukee.

The complete, three-meeting schedule and some background information is below:

Key technical issues include Waukesha's legal eligibility for the diversion, plus the sufficiency of its water conservation methods and related plan to return most of the diversion as treated wastewater via Underwood Creek to the lake.

Waukesha would also have to have a signed water supply purchase contract with a lakefront community, as well as the approval of all eight Great Lakes states' Governors, before the lake could be tapped.

So there are fundamental political issues accompanying the application, too.

[Note: the Town of Waukesha has yet to officially decide if it wishes to be included in the application; the City of Waukesha included the Town in the application and proposed diversion map and area, accounting for roughly 10% of the proposed diversion's average daily draw and resulting discharge, but the Town was not consulted during the application's preparation, thus has not accepted the terms of a diversion, its obligations or benefits.]

The DNR has a website offering information about the application review process, including:

Informational Meetings/Hearings Locations: 

Tuesday July 26, 2011, Waukesha County Technical College, Business Building, Lecture Hall B140 and B130, 800 Main Street, Pewaukee, WI 53072 

Wednesday July 27, 2011, Hart Park, Riverview Room, 7300 Chestnut Street, Wauwatosa, WI 53213

Thursday July 28, 2011, Sturtevant DNR Service Center, 9531 Rayne Road, Sturtevant, Wisconsin 53177


5:30 pm – Open house (with displays, handouts and DNR staff available to answer questions)
6:00 pm – Presentation (brief overview of application and process), a Question and Answer period, followed by a formal public hearing


Any comments are welcome; however, comments are particularly requested on the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the review criteria.
Written comments may be submitted until August 13, 2011 to:
Kay McConnell
DNR Bureau of Drinking Water and Groundwater
Box 7921
Madison, WI 53707-7921

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