Great Lakes pact
Watertown Daily Times (IN)
Published February 23, 2008
Indiana has become the first state to sign the Great Lakes Compact. Gov. Mitch Daniels signed the measure into law Wednesday, allowing Indiana to officially join the compact which protects water from being piped or transported out of the Great Lakes watershed.
The agreement also commits the eight Great Lakes states to regulate water use and adopt conservation plans.
"We have a long-term interest in preserving the quality and quantity of water in Lake Michigan," said Tom Anderson, executive director of the Save the Dunes Council. "We know this agreement is a step toward the sustainable use of Great Lakes water."
"We set a high bar for the rest of the nation," said Jim Flannery, environmental manager for ArcelorMittal, which owns a steel manufacturing plant on Lake Michigan. "It was a unique and precedent-setting agreement with the collaboration of industry representatives and environmental advocates."
That is what it will take for eight states and two Canadian provinces to manage the five Great Lakes wisely.
Minnesota and Illinois have ratified the pact. Ohio is making progress on it as well. In Canada, the provinces of Ontario and Quebec have endorsed separate but similar agreements.
In the interest of solidarity, the rest of the states need to move ahead on the compact, which Congress must ratify after the affected states do so.