Michigan will carefully review and accept public comment about an application submitted by the state of Wisconsin yesterday to the Great Lakes Compact Council and the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Water Resources Regional Body to divert water from the Great Lakes basin to the city of Waukesha, Wisc.
Waukesha is under court order by the state of Wisconsin to address unacceptable levels of radium in its current groundwater supply of drinking water. Since Waukesha is located in a county that straddles the Great Lakes basin, it is able under the Great Lakes Compact to apply for an exception to divert water from the basin.
The Great Lakes Compact of 2008, signed by all eight states and two provinces included in the basin, prohibits diversions from the Great Lakes except under strictly limited circumstances.
As part of the application process, the city of Waukesha must receive approval from all eight states on the compact. Michigan will carefully review the application, identify any potential environmental impacts and evaluate all public comments prior to making a decision.
“The Great Lakes are an integral component of Michigan’s environmental, economic, cultural and social heritage,” said Jon Allan, Director of the DEQ’s Office of the Great Lakes. “Ensuring their protection is our first priority, and we’re going to take a careful look at this application. We welcome public input on the proposal, and look forward to meeting with interested Michiganders next month.”
To gather public input, the DEQ will hold two informational public meetings Feb. 9, from 1-3 p.m. and again from 6-8 p.m., at the Lansing Community College West Campus. The meetings will also be streamed live at www.michigan.gov/waterdiversion.
Additionally, interested individuals can submit comments online at www.michigan.gov/waterdiversion or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public comments will be accepted until March 1. All comments will be reviewed by Michigan decision-makers and then summarized and forwarded to the Regional Body and to the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Council prior to their March 14 deadline.
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