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GLIN==> Governor Strickland Signs Historic Great Lakes Compact



GOVERNOR STRICKLAND SIGNS HISTORIC

GREAT LAKES COMPACT

 

Columbus, Ohio–Governor Ted Strickland has signed Ohio’s legislation ratifying an interstate Compact that will create unprecedented protections for the Great Lakes--St. Lawrence River Basin. 

 

Governor Strickland’s signing illustrates the regional and bi-partisan consensus that is growing in support of the Compact.  Six of the eight Great Lakes States have now completed ratification of the Compact’s protections—Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, New York, Wisconsin and Ohio.  Both legislative chambers in Michigan have passed the Compact and Governor Granholm is soon expected to sign it and related State implementing legislation. 

 

The Pennsylvania House has already passed the Compact unanimously.  It is now pending in the Pennsylvania Senate Appropriations Committee where it is hoped to be passed and sent to the Senate floor for a vote before the Senate soon begins its expected summer recess. 

 

To become law, the Compact must be approved by each of the State legislatures and Congress must give its consent.  Already, more than 20 members of Congress including Senators McCain, Obama, Voinovich and Brown have expressed their support.    

 

“I am proud that Ohio has officially signed on to the Compact and joined other states and provinces in our commitment to serve as responsible stewards of our Great Lakes,” Strickland said. “Through the Compact, we will have the ability to maintain our precious natural resources and preserve and protect Lake Erie for generations to come.”


Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, Council of Great Lakes Governors Chair, said, “I applaud Governor Strickland and the State of Ohio.  This action is a reflection of the tremendous momentum and growing consensus in support of the Compact.” 

 

In December 2005, following a nearly five-year negotiation, the Governors of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania reached agreement on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact.  The Compact provides a comprehensive management framework for achieving sustainable water use and resource protection.  The eight Great Lakes States reached a similar, good faith, agreement with Ontario and Québec in 2005, which the Provinces are using to amend their existing water programs for greater regional consistency.

 

The interstate Compact legislation signed by Governor Strickland includes the following points:

  • Economic development will be fostered through the sustainable use and responsible management of Basin waters.
  • The States will ensure that authority over Great Lakes water uses is retained in the region. 
  • Regional goals and objectives for water conservation and efficiency will be developed, and they will be reviewed every five years.  Each State will develop and implement a water conservation and efficiency program. 
  • The collection of technical data will be strengthened, and the States will share comparable information, which will improve decision-making by the governments. 
  • There is a strong commitment to continued public involvement in the implementation of the Compact.

 

To date, more than 1200 State legislators have voted to approve the Compact—about 95% of all legislators who have cast a vote on it.  Additionally, it has attracted the support of key members of Congress, Mayors and local government officials as well as more than 150 diverse groups of stakeholders who depend on the Great Lakes.

 

The five Great Lakes comprise the world’s largest surface freshwater system.  The partners to the Compact have worked to develop a program to carefully manage and protect the freshwaters of the region.  The complete text of the Compact and additional information is available at www.cglg.org

 

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Contact: David Naftzger

Office: 312-407-0177

Mobile: 847-863-1679

dnaftzger@cglg.org