Firm position protecting lake
is right approach
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment
of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or
the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to
petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
We're happy to see Ohio's lawmakers -- especially those
from our area -- staying firm in their opposition to siphoning
of water from Lake Erie.
Last week, the Ohio House unanimously passed a resolution
applauding the International Joint Commission for its
efforts to protect the waters of the Great Lakes and urge
completion of a 2001 non-binding agreement to regulate
removal and distribution of that freshwater.
The Senate approved the measure in June.
Rep. Jeff Wagner, R-Sycamore, said the resolution is
an important step to protecting the region, particularly
"The value of Lake Erie and the Great Lakes basin
cannot be overstated in terms of the benefits brought
not only to northern Ohio, but for the entire state."
We couldn't agree more. The lake must be protected. It
is crucial from a health standpoint, from a quality of
life standpoint, from an environmental standpoint and
from an economic standpoint.
The resolution was sponsored by Sen. Larry Mumper, R-Marion.
House Minority Leader Chris Redfern, D-Catawba Island,
had introduced an identical version in the House.
The Ohio Environmental Council urged passage of the resolution,
saying the state could become the region's standard-bearer
for protecting the Great Lakes.
We hope so. Protection of Lake Erie, obviously, will
not be truly effective if other lakes are not safeguarded.
The five lakes represent 20 percent of the world's freshwater
supply. Only about 1 percent of their total volume is
replaced each year.
In the past, private companies have looked into siphoning
millions of gallons from the lakes and selling it as drinking
water to places as far away as Asia. Without regional
enforcement such plans could become reality and could
become serious problems.
A draft agreement to control Great Lakes water among
the adjacent territories is expected to be ready by early
We hope it takes a strong position protecting this outstanding