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E-M:/ FW: Great Lakes uniform standards

Title: Great Lakes uniform standards

----Original Message-----
From: gov_office@MICHIGAN.GOV [mailto:gov_office@MICHIGAN.GOV]
Sent: Monday, April 19, 2004 4:10 PM
Subject: Great Lakes uniform standards


April 19, 2004
Contact:  Heidi Hansen
Governor Granholm asks Great Lakes Governors to Establish Uniform Quality Standards for Great Lakes 

LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that she has asked Great Lakes governors to establish uniform standards for determining Great Lakes water quality.

“The Great Lakes are our greatest treasure” said Granholm.  “But each state measures and monitors different standards and then reports those in a different way around the basin, making determining the health of the Great Lakes a challenging process. It is time we made the information uniform.”

Last month, Governor Granholm sent letters to her fellow governors asking them to work with Michigan and Department of Environmental Quality Director Steven Chester to ensure that all Great Lakes states are using the same language to keep citizens informed of the drink-ability, fish-ability, and swim-ability of all of the Great Lakes.  To date, Minnesota has responded to the Governor's letter, and Chester is contacting the other Great Lake states to discuss their involvement.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has already indicated its support for such an effort.

“As the states actively pursue support for Great Lakes restoration, the development of clear and uniform standards for determining water quality will enable the states to demonstrate progress from those restoration efforts,” said Granholm. 

“The true benefit of uniform standards is ensuring that we can fish, swim and drink Great Lakes waters in keeping with standards established by the Clean Water Act,” Chester said.  “We also want to make sure the information is easily accessible and understandable.  With consistent water quality indicators, we will be able to quickly and clearly asses the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem.  In this age of technology and cooperation, a lack of consistency just doesn’t make sense.”

Chester pointed to fish consumption advisories as one area where there is a lack of consistency around the lakes.  Currently, if you go out of Michigan, you have one set of fish consumption advisories, while Ohio has a different process for determining advisories and a different way of reporting those advisories.

Michigan plans to work with the other Great Lakes states and the EPA over the next year to establish these indicators.
“This is another step in re-establishing Michigan as a leader in the protection of the Great Lakes,” Granholm said.  “The Great Lake states must work together toward the common goal of maintaining the greatness of our lakes.”

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