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GLIN==> Ohio House Passes Great Lakes Compact

February 19, 2008	

Contact: Bill DeMora, Ohio LCV
	Email: bdemora@ohiolcv.org 
	Phone: 614-481-0512

	Jack Shaner, Ohio Environmental Council		
	Phone: 614-487-7506
	Email: jack@theoec.org 

	Molly Flanagan, National Wildlife Federation
	Phone: 734-887-7103
	Email: flanaganm@nwf.org 

	Marnie Urso, Audubon Ohio
	Phone: 216-246-7150
	Email: murso@audubon.org 

Ohio House Passes Great Lakes Compact

Led by Rep. Dolan, House votes in favor of responsible and balanced
water protection

“Today the Ohio House overwhelmingly passed the Great Lakes
Compact” said Bill DeMora, Ohio League of Conservation Voters
Executive Director. “This is a fantastic bipartisan statement that
Ohio is committed to protecting Lake Erie.”

The Great Lakes Water Resources Compact (Ohio House Bill 416) promises
a comprehensive law for Ohio and the other Great Lakes states to control
the use of Great Lakes basin water.  Without the Compact, Lake Erie and
the other Great Lakes will remain vulnerable to schemes to siphon water
away to the arid Southwest or other parts of the globe.  

“The National Wildlife Federation applauds Representative Dolan and
the Ohio House for recognizing the importance of Lake Erie to the state,
and acting to protect the Great Lakes today and for future generations,"
said Molly Flanagan, Water Program Manager for the National Wildlife
Federation.  "With growing concerns about Great Lakes water levels and
climate change expected to increase world demand for fresh water, we in
the Great Lakes region have a responsibility to act now to secure fair
and consistent rules for managing 20% of the earth’s fresh surface

“The Ohio House can hold its head high,” added Jack Shaner, Ohio
Environmental Council. “It did what Republicans and Democrats at
statehouses around the Great Lakes states are doing: accepting the
actual, protective wording of the Compact, not the twisted legal
theories of the scare mongers. And it concluded that putting water
security over bogeyman rhetoric is more import to Ohio. Good job, Ohio

The bill now moves to the Ohio Senate where its future is uncertain.
Last week Senator Grendell introduced Ohio Senate Bill 291 as an
alternative to the House Bill.  The Senate measure is widely regarded as
an effort to thwart implementation of the Compact. 

"Senator Grendell's extreme view that the Compact would alter private
water rights is out of touch with the overwhelming majority of Ohioans
who want to protect the Great Lakes,” said DeMora.  
“I’m happy that a nearly unanimous House agrees that the Compact
provides balance and responsibility by ensuring that we'll all be able
to use and enjoy Lake Erie, and all the Great Lakes, for generations to

Lake Erie is the shallowest of all the Great Lakes and has the most to
lose from proposed water diversions. It is also responsible for
generating close to $10 billion dollars from travel, tourism and
fishing.   “Leaders in the Senate are gambling with the future of one
of the largest economic drivers in our state - Lake Erie.  Now is the
time to work together for what is best for Ohio.  It is not the time to
play partisan politics,” said Audubon Ohio’s Marnie Urso.

#   #   #

Molly M. Flanagan
National Wildlife Federation 
Great Lakes Natural Resource Center
213 West Liberty Street, Suite 200
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104
Phone: 734-887-7103  |  Fax: 734-887-7199 

NWF's mission is to inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our
children's future. 

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