Groups Ask Wisconsin to Clarify its Authority to Regulate a Waukesha Diversion
An opinion by the Wisconsin Attorney General casts doubt on the state’s authority to manage, regulate, and enforce conditions the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Water Resources Compact Council may require when approving a diversion.
Today, 25 conservation groups from all across the Great Lakes basin called on the state of Wisconsin to clarify its authority to manage and regulate large scale withdrawals of water, such as the diversion proposed from Lake Michigan to provide water to Waukesha, Wisconsin. An opinion in early May 2016 by the Wisconsin State Attorney General casts doubt on the state’s authority to manage, regulate, and enforce conditions the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Water Resources Compact Council may require when approving a diversion.
Although the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact authorizes legal actions to compel compliance, the groups are calling on the state of Wisconsin to formally state for the record that it has this authority, and is willing and prepared to use this authority, when the Compact Council meets on June 21 to determine the fate of Waukesha’s diversion application. Additionally, the Compact Council must consider the Regional Body’s Declaration of Finding, public comments and other materials in the record before making its final decision whether the application meets the rigorous standards in the Compact.
The 25 conservation groups include:
Action Minnesota – Clean Wisconsin – Environmental Advocates of New York – Freshwater Future – Friend of the Cloquet Valley State Forest – Great Lakes Committee Izaak Walton League – Izaak Walton League Minnesota Division –Michigan Environmental Council -– Midwest Environmental Advocates – Milwaukee Riverkeeper -Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy – Minnesota Conservation Federation – Minnesota Environmental Partnership – National Wildlife Federation – Natural Resources Defense Council – Ohio Environmental Council – River Alliance of Wisconsin – Save Lake Superior Association – Save Our Sky Blue Waters – Save the Dunes – Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council – Wisconsin Compact Implementation Coalition – Wisconsin Wildlife Federation
Mentioned in This Press Release
Recent Press Releases by Compact Implementation Coalition
Wisconsin environmental groups' concerns remain; modified diversion plan will require vigilance
The Declaration of Findings include conditions added by the Great Lakes Governors and Premiers that will modify the diversion request.
Groups React as States and Provinces Commit to Reconvene in May to Continue Debate on Precedent-Setting Great Lakes Water DiversionApr 22nd, 2016 by Compact Implementation Coalition
It is critical that any diversion proposal meet the rigorous requirements of the Compact which were developed to safeguard the Great Lakes.