March 31, 2016
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has issued formal notice to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors' and Premiers' Regional Body and the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Resources Council to voice his concerns regarding the city of Waukesha, Wisconsin’s request to divert 10.1 million gallons of water per day from the Great Lakes basin.
The city of Waukesha is located outside the Great Lakes basin, in the Mississippi River basin.
“The Great Lakes are one of the greatest resources not only for Michigan, but for the entire country,” said Schuette. “Waukesha’s request to divert millions of gallons from Lake Michigan is very serious and unless the strict exception standard is met, should be denied. Our Great Lakes water resources are far too important to allow a major disruption without intensive research and an approval from all the Great Lakes states.”
The letter responds to the city of Waukesha, Wisconsin’s Water Diversion Application to the two bodies, as required by the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact and the 2005 Great Lakes - St. Lawrence River Basin Sustainable Water Resources Agreement. Both the agreement and compact address preserving the Great Lakes and fostering economic development through sustainable management of water resources and are intended to work in concert.
A critical element of the agreements is a prohibition on diversion programs to areas outside the Great Lakes basin unless a very specific and narrowly defined set of exception standards are met.
The City of Waukesha must demonstrate that they:
Since this request is the first of its kind, Schuette has a number of questions he is seeking to have answered in more detail, and is requesting that the City of Waukesha and State of Wisconsin answer the following before the bodies make final decisions on the plan: