Mayor Barrett Says "Follow the Great Lakes Compact"

December 3, 2012

Milwaukee Riverkeeper strongly agrees with Mayor Barrett's recent op-ed in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on the importance of following the Great Lakes Compact while Waukesha seeks approval to use Lake Michigan water.  For Waukesha to access water from the Great Lakes, approval must be granted by all eight Great Lakes states (and two Canadian provinces).  These entities are entrusted with protecting the world's greatest fresh water resource, and it is vital that communities outside the Great Lakes basin, such as Waukesha, fulfill every legal and environmental requirement laid out by the Compact.  

These requirements are explained in Mayor Barrett's op-ed to show why he is so committed to protecting the Great Lakes on this issue.

From Mayor Tom Barrett's op-ed in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 30th, 2012:

"In their op-ed in the Nov. 18 Crossroads "A Regional Approach to Clean Water," Rich Meeusen and state Rep. Jeff Stone (R-Greendale) promote creating a regional water authority to supply parts of Waukesha County with Lake Michigan water and to resolve the contentious legal issues among Oak Creek, Caledonia and Franklin. They argue this approach would strengthen the case for a Great Lakes diversion since the request will be coming from a regional authority and not an individual community that is wholly outside the Great Lakes basin.

This "regional" approach however breaks down when it is held up to the basic requirements of the Great Lakes compact.
 
The compact is one of the most important interstate agreements in recent history. It was adopted by the eight Great Lakes states and ratified by Congress because the lakes are a world-class resource. The compact recognizes that the lakes are vulnerable to many challenges including thirsty, sprawling regions in other parts of North America and the world, climate change, pollution, invasive species and lower lake levels...."