Water is undeniably one of Michigan's greatest resources. As a result, legislation affecting the Great Lakes remains at the forefront of environmental policy discussions in Lansing. The Chamber has joined the Water Works Coalition, a great of job providers (including the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the Michigan Manufacturer's Association and the Michigan Municipal League, among other organizations) urging state lawmakers to take action on legislation to ensure water remains one of our state's most important economic benefits.
The Water Works Coalition supports Senate Bill 212, which would allow Michigan to ratify the Great Lakes Compact. The key provisions of the Compact include a Great Lakes Council comprised of the Great Lakes Governors; a strict prohibition against diversion of Great Lakes waters; a requirement of states to implement a regulatory regiment to evaluate withdrawals; and a water conservation program. Minnesota, Ohio and New York have already adopted the Compact, and Indiana is discussing it in its current legislative session. The Compact offers the best protection against diversions of Great Lakes water outside the basin while allowing water to be utilized within the basin to create economic activity.
In contrast, a House package of water regulation bills threatens job growth and economic expansion in Michigan. In 2006, the Legislature nearly unanimously passed a series of water withdrawal laws...