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E-M:/ water legacy act: legislators' release

Enviro-Mich message from "Dave Dempsey" <davemec@voyager.net>

CONTACT:   Sen. Liz Brater
March 3, 2004							
Rep. Chris Kolb


Act supports Governor’s plan to regulate water withdrawal 
and protect water resources

LANSING – Two leading environmental Democratic lawmakers today unveiled 
a legislative initiative that would protect Michigan’s fresh water 
aquifers and lakes by regulating water withdrawal.  During a press 
conference in the Governor’s Capitol office, State Senator Liz Brater 
(D-Ann Arbor) and State Representative Chris Kolb (D-Ann Arbor) joined 
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and DEQ Director, Steve Chester, in 
announcing the Michigan Water Legacy Act, a comprehensive plan to 
manage Michigan’s water resources and protect the Great Lakes’ precious 
fresh water.

	“The risk to Michigan’s fresh water supply is greater today 
than perhaps at any other time in our state’s history,” Kolb 
said.  “This is why it is imperative that we have a sound and prudent 
strategy to manage our precious water resources and proactively address 
the inevitable conflicts and disputes that will emerge.”

Under the proposed plan, new facilities that make withdrawals from 
surface water or groundwater greater than two million gallons a day or 
greater than 100 million gallons a year would be required to obtain 
permits.  Current water users would not be affected unless they sought 
to increase water withdrawals or use additional water sources.  The 
plan would have immediate effect, but requirements would be phased in 
over the next five years toward full implementation in 2009.  Annual 
reporting will be required of all permit holders.

“This priceless resource is becoming a desirable commodity to other 
states and even other countries without access to such assets,” Brater 
said.  “We need to make every effort to protect and conserve it.”

The Michigan Water Legacy Act would also go far in meeting the goals 
set forth in the 1985 Great Lakes Charter, developed by a consortium of 
Great Lakes states and provinces, which include conserving and 
protecting the levels and flows of the Great Lakes and tributary and 
connecting waters.  		

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