More on Great Lakes Compact
Michigan Governor Finalizes Region's Support for Great Lakes Compact
Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm on Wednesday signed that state’s legislation ratifying an interstate compact that would create unprecedented protections for the Great Lakes.
With her signature, the eight Great Lakes states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have now completed ratification of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact. To become law, the U.S. Congress must now ratify the pact.
"There's been a lot of momentum on this, and now we need Congress to bless it," said Cameron Davis, Alliance president.
Granholm's signature comes just days after the Pennsylvania Senate adopted the measure in a unanimous vote on July 3. The Pennsylvania Legislature was the last state legislature to give its blessing to the compact, which seeks to provide a model for a standardized, consensus-based approach to decisions about Great Lakes water use.
The compact is an answer to thirsty interests that seek to tap Great Lakes water -- including its groundwater, inland lakes and rivers -- from as far away as Asia. The Great Lakes governors began considering new water protections a decade ago after a proposal to ship Great Lakes water to Asia in tankers gained preliminary approval, permission later rescinded in the face of mounting criticism.
Diversions of Great Lakes water to places outside the vast watershed are banned, with limited exceptions, and are further discouraged by requiring that water removed from the basin must be returned to it.