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E-M:/ Press Release - Water Legacy Act

Enviro-Mich message from "Daniel Farough" <Dfarough@house.mi.gov>

FYI - From yesterday's press conference

Liz Brater
March 3,
2004										517/373-2406
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.  					
"I commend Senator Brater and Representative Kolb for their efforts to
protect the most valuable natural resource of our state--the Great
Lakes," Governor Granholm said. "Our state is defined by its waters,
which are critical to our state's economy. This legislation will make
Michigan a regional leader in protecting the Great Lakes so that future
generations may enjoy them."

For more information, visit: www.michigan.gov 

# # #

Dan Farough
Press Secretary
House Democratic Communications

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