Northport - Former State Representative Dan Scripps today slammed the decision by Governor Snyder and other regional governors to approve a diversion of Great Lakes water to Waukesha, Wisconsin, a community that lies wholly outside the Great Lakes Basin.
“Today was the first test of the Great Lakes Compact, and the decision to allow a diversion of Great Lakes water shows we failed that test,” said Scripps, who is the Democratic candidate for the 101st District State House seat. “This is a sad day for the Great Lakes.”
Earlier today, the governors of each of the eight states that share the Great Lakes decided to approve Waukesha, Wisconsin’s request for a diversion of 8.2 millions gallons per day of Lake Michigan water for municipal use. Waukesha lies outside the Great Lakes Basin, and instead lies within the Mississippi River Basin. However, because it is located in Waukesha County, which straddles the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basins, it was allowed to request a diversion under the terms of the Great Lakes Compact, which was approved in 2008.
The Compact was meant to ban communities outside of the Great Lakes Basin from diverting water from the Great Lakes. The law was created to safeguard the health of our waters, and to create responsible standards for conservation within the basin.
“Today’s approval of Waukesha’s diversion request opens the door to future diversions, and sets a dangerous precedent that puts us all at risk of an environmental disaster,” said Scripps. “Despite broad opposition - including opposition from Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, 11 of 14 members of Michigan’s Congressional delegation, State Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhoff, and thousands of Michigan residents who value the Great Lakes - Governor Snyder signed off on the first diversion of Great Lakes water. That’s shameful.”