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E-M:/ About that bottled water loophole...

Writing in the Wisconsin State Journal, Melissa Scanlon of Midwest Environmental Advocates makes an articulate case for the threat to the Great Lakes from legal loopholes like the one recently approved in Michigan for bottled water exports:

"Bottled water is the most familiar form of privatizing and exporting water in bulk. We think bottled water is innocuous because we see it everywhere. But ask people if they want to see a pipeline built, or tanker trucks lined up, to ship water to Arizona to keep golf courses green, and you'll get an angry "no" in response.

"It is important to realize that there is no meaningful difference between bulk exports of water using plastic bottles or tankers and pipelines because the impact is the same: a complete taking of water out of the watershed of origin, most of which will not be returned. This stands in contrast to water uses in the basin that are just that uses where water is then returned to the original water body.

"And once you turn on the tap for bottled water exports, legal rules protecting interstate and international commerce make it very hard to turn that tap off for bulk exports via pipeline and tanker."