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GLIN==> Groups Sue in Milwaukee for Lake Protection



For Immediate Release

Contact
Cameron Davis, Executive Director - LMF (312) 952-824
Bob Boucher, Executive Director - FMR (414) 476-6042

Citizens' Groups Sue Over Billions of Gallons of Wastewater into Lake
Michigan from Milwaukee

Milwaukee, WI - Two public interest citizens' organizations today filed a
lawsuit against the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) for
billions of gallons of wastewater discharged to regional waterways, putting
human and ecological health at risk.
	Noting that MMSD has released up to 13 billion gallons of
wastewater, the groups-Friends of Milwaukee's Rivers (FMR) and the Lake
Michigan Federation-claim in their suit that MMSD has illegally discharged
highly polluted waste to contaminate Lake Michigan, rivers, and groundwater
supplies since 1995.
	"Milwaukeeans deserve a better quality of life," said Bob Boucher,
executive director of Friends of Milwaukee's Rivers. "Our lawsuit is about
government accountability and achieving the Clean Water Act's promise-made
30 years ago this year-of 'fishable and swimmable' waters for our families
and future generations."
	The groups filed a notice of intent to sue last July as required
under the Clean Water Act. They withheld their lawsuit to try to reach an
agreement on sewage reductions out of court.
	"We're stepping in because the state Department of Natural Resources
is looking for a sweetheart deal despite having known about MMSD's Clean
Water Act violations for years," said Cameron Davis, executive director of
the Lake Michigan Federation. "Lake Michigan is one of the most precious
natural treasures in the world. It needs aggressive interstate protection
and it needs it now."
 	MMSD is the largest pollution discharge permit holder for Lake
Michigan. Sewage discharged to area waters can contain bacteria and
pathogens from human and animal waste that can cause vomiting, diarrhea,
stomachache, nausea, headache, and fevers. Other pathogens can cause
giardiasis, amoebic dysentery, skin rashes, and pink eye. Everyone who
heavily uses nearshore areas for recreation-including kayakers and
swimmers-is at risk when untreated wastewater is present, but children may
be most susceptible if they put contaminated sand in their mouths.
	"MMSD continually violates the Clean Water Act with regard to sewer
overflows," said Karen Schapiro, local attorney for the groups. "We'll be
seeking a remedy that ensures court supervision to ensure the agency abides
by the requirements of the Clean Water Act."

* * * * * * *

Formed in 1970, the Lake Michigan Federation is the oldest citizens' Great
Lakes organization in North America. Its mission is to restore fish and
wildlife habitat, conserve land and water, and eliminate pollution in the
watershed of the largest lake within U.S. borders. More on the Federation
and this lawsuit is available at www.lakemichigan.org 

Friends of Milwaukee's Rivers' mission is to protect water quality and
wildlife habitat in the river corridors and to advocate for sound land use
in our watersheds. FMR is a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, a national
coalition dedicated to protecting and restoring our nation's waterways.
Visit www.mkeriverkeeper.org

The Lake Michigan Federation and Friends of Milwaukee's Rivers are
represented by Karen M. Schapiro at the Milwaukee firm of Frazer & Schapiro,
(414) 347-9500, and by James A. Vroman and Steven M. Siros of Jenner & Block
in Chicago, online at
<http://www.jenner.com/practice/practice_detail.asp?ID=31>.		

END

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