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E-M:/ Michigan shuts tap to lake: WI diversion request

Enviro-Mich message from "Dave Dempsey" <davedem@hotmail.com>

A quiet bid by New Berlin and state officials to expand the community's access to Lake Michigan water was struck down this week by the governor of Michigan, an indication that the feel-good push by the eight Great Lakes governors to tighten laws protecting the world's largest freshwater system could soon turn ugly.

"The political conventional wisdom in Michigan is very straightforward: Don't approve a Great Lakes diversion, especially before an election," said Noah Hall, a law professor at Wayne State University in Detroit who helped draft the governors' diversion rules.

Some conservationists applauded Granholm's decision.

"We support it entirely," said Cameron Davis of the Alliance for the Great Lakes. "Bad planning and failure to anticipate is not going to be a rationale to stick a straw into Lake Michigan."

Nobody believes one relatively small suburb such as New Berlin could drain Lake Michigan. But 1,000 such communities might. And the worry is that if the Great Lakes states say yes to a place such as New Berlin, how can they justify saying no to the next city - or state - that comes calling?


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