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Bottling lake superior

Posted on behalf of Bob Olsgard <bolsgard@centuryinter.net>

A Canadian company has won approval from the Ontario Ministry of the
Environment to take up to 600 million litres of water each year from
Lake Superior -- or about 300 million large Coke bottles -- and sell it
in Asia.

Reacting to the proposal, U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak has written Secretary of
State Madeline Albright urging her to investigate the five year, 3
billion litre transfer of water proposed by the Nova Group of Sault Ste.
Marie, Ontario.  Stupak says he is concerned the proposal is
inconsistent with the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty between the U.S. and
Canada and other agreements.

"With this sale are we opening up the Great Lakes to a new kind of
commercial development with no policy in place?" Stupak asked.

The news reminds environmental groups who opposed the North American
Free Trade Agreement in 1993 of concerns they raised that the treaty
could be construed to regard water as an article of commerce that could
not be restricted in shipment by national laws.

It also raises serious questions about the cumulative impact of this and
other water withdrawals on the economy and environment of the Great
Lakes Basin.