Undercurrents: beneath the obvious

November 22, 2007

Status on legislative passage of the Great Lakes Compact – Nov 2007

On December 13, 2005, the Great Lakes Governors and Premiers signed agreements at the Council of Great Lakes Governors’ (CGLG) Leadership Summit that would provide protections for the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence River Basin. The compact won’t take effect until it is endorsed by the region’s eight states and then ratified by Congress.

Changes since May update:

  • Illinois Governor Blagojevich signed the Illinois legislation on August 17 becoming the second state to sign on to the Compact.
  • New York Senate bill 4324 passed July 16
  • Pennsylvania House bill 1705 introduced

Status by State:

Ohio and Wisconsin opposition to the Compact comes from a provision that calls for water in the Great Lakes basin to be held in “public trust” — see Ohio approval of water pact faces new snag:

  • Private property owners own groundwater beneath their land.
  • States might give up their sovereign right to state-owned water by agreeing to be part of a regional water board of eight states.
  • Criteria for water withdrawals should be made by state legislatures and not governors as in the Compact
  • Permits for withdrawals should be based on anticipated effects on watersheds, not on individual streams and tributaries within them.
  • Lets citizens sue government agencies over alleged violations, such as permitting excessive water withdrawals.

The pact has had little impact in Pennsylvania, where the only part of the state adjacent to the Great Lakes is a 40-mile stretch of Lake Erie frontage in the far northwestern corner.

On the Canadian side:

  • Legislation to strengthen the protection of water in the Great Lakes will be introduced Tuesday, April 3, in the Ontario legislature.
  • Quebec’s National Assembly has already ratified the agreement, but hasn’t yet updated its water use laws.

For information on the Compact: Great Lakes–St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact

Source: CGLG State Legislative Activity to Enact the Compact

About these ads

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Rubric Theme Blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: