NYS Seal



(Oral Testimony by Invitation Only)


The impacts on New York State of the draft Interstate Compact to manage the water resources of the Great Lakes Basin.


To investigate the potential impacts on New York State of the draft Interstate Compact released by the Council of Great Lakes Governors in July 2004 and to allow the public an opportunity to testify on concerns they may have on this far reaching document.

Tuesday, October 5, 2004
11:30 a.m.
Buffalo and Erie County Public Library
One Lafayette Square
Buffalo, NY 14203

On July 19, 2004 the Council of Great Lakes Governors released draft agreements to implement Annex 2001 and announced a 90 day public review period. Annex 2001 is a non-binding agreement signed by the Governors of all eight Great Lakes States as well as the Premiers of Ontario and Quebec in 2001. The Interstate Compact will create a binding amendment to the Great Lakes Charter that would establish a blueprint for water protection, conservation and management in the Great Lakes Basin.

The draft agreements were developed to create a management process for regulating water diversions and withdrawals from the Great Lakes Basin, based upon a uniform, resource based standard. Legal review has indicated that the implementation of such resource based standard throughout the basin is the only way legally to protect out-of-basin diversion of large quantities of Great Lakes waters.

There are two documents contained within the draft proposal - the Interstate Compact which will be a binding agreement among the eight Great Lakes States, and an international agreement among the Great Lakes States and the Provinces. The focus of this hearing is the draft Interstate Compact. The agreements will have to be ratified by the respective state governors, sent to their legislatures for approval and any necessary state law changes, and then forwarded to the United States Congress for authorization.

The draft Interstate Compact is not a consensus document, and contains significant unresolved issues. These issues include: the trigger levels at which regional or state approval would be required; the proposed employment of "averaging" water use over a three month period to eliminate the need for some - mostly agricultural entities - to avoid regulation under the new water management regime; what type of grandfathering would be allowed for existing uses; how water distribution and use will be handled in border communities; whether the current one state veto power would continue or be replaced by a "majority" scheme; and how the proposed "resource improvement" standard would be defined and implemented.

This hearing will solicit testimony on a wide range of important issues from stakeholders in New York State. Testimony will be carefully reviewed as members of the State Assembly prepare to submit comments on the Compact to the Council of Great Lakes Governors by October 18, 2004. Information received will help the Assembly in its deliberations when the New York State Legislature is ultimately asked to authorize the final version of the Interstate Compact.

Oral testimony will be accepted by invitation only and limited to 10 minutes duration. Ten copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committee would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements. In order to further publicize these hearings, please inform interested parties and organizations of the Committee's interest in hearing testimony from all sources.

Persons invited to present oral testimony to the Committee at the above hearing should complete and return the attached reply form by September 24, 2004. It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation.

In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.


Persons wishing to attend the public hearing on the Great Lakes Compact are requested to complete and return this reply form by September 24, 2004 to:

Alex Roth, Legislative Analyst
Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation
Room 520 - Capitol, Albany, New York 12248
Email: rotha@assembly.state.ny.us
Phone: (518) 455-4363, Fax: (518) 455-5182

box I plan to attend the public hearing on the Great Lakes Compact to be conducted by the Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation and the Majority Leader of the New York State Assembly on October 5, 2004.


I have been invited to make a public statement at the hearing. My statement will be limited to 10 minutes, and I will answer any questions which may arise. I will provide 10 copies of my prepared statement. I will address my remarks to the following subjects:

box I do not plan to attend the above hearing.

box I would like to be added to the Committee mailing list for notices and reports.

box I would like to be removed from the Committee mailing list.


I will require assistance and/or handicapped accessibility information. Please specify the type of assistance required:








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