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E-M:/ Attorney General's Opinion



------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enviro-Mich message from "Terry Swier" -------------------------------------------------------------------------
In June, Rep. Julie Dennis, Rep. William O'Neil, and Senator Chris Dingell
asked Jennifer Granholm, Attorney General whether a private company's
(Perrier) proposal to pump and bottle groundwater from a spring in Mecosta
County is subject to the provisions of the Water Resources Development Act
of 1986 (WRDA). "No water shall be diverted or exported from any portion of
the Great Lakes within the United States, or from any tributary within the
United States of any of the Great Lakes, for use outside the Great Lakes
basin unless such diversion or export is approved by the Governor of each of
the Great Lakes states."

Attorney General Granholm released two letters on September 17, 2001 regarding her opinion on whether or not the Perrier water withdrawal and removal is subject to the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 (WRDA) prohibition against diversion or export of water outside of the Great Lakes Basin. She sent a letter on September 13, 2001 to Rep. Julie Dennis, Rep. William O'Neil, and Senator Chris Dingell that the project is subject to the WRDA. She concluded that
the groundwater that feeds the stream is tributary water of the Great Lakes,
and that the proposal constitutes a diversion or export outside of the Great
Lakes Basin. She urged Dennis, O'Neil, and Dingell to initiate and implement
a comprehensive water use law for the State of Michigan. She sent a letter
to Governor Engler reaching the same conclusion and asked him to implement
the consensus provisions of WRDA to obtain consent of all governors of the
Great Lakes States. She also urged the Governor to cooperate with the
governors of other Great Lakes States as required by the Great Lakes
Charter. She also urged the Governor to work with the legislature in
establishing a water use law.

I believe the letter writing, phoning, appearing at hearings, and all the
other efforts of MCWC had a significant impact on bringing this issue in
front of the public and the legislators. I personally want to thank you all.
MCWC's work is not finished, in some ways it is just beginning. We need to
continue to work together to put political pressure on our elected officials
and to raise money to support MCWC's legal efforts. As in the past, I will
keep you informed.

Terry Swier


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