Great Lakes Compact Passes Legislature

February 13, 2008

Efforts to protect the freshwater supply contained in the Great Lakes took an important step forward with the passage of the Great Lakes Compact by the State Legislature, Assemblyman Robin Schimminger reported today.

"New York is fortunate to have two of the Great Lakes – Erie and Ontario – on its borders," Schimminger said. "The Great Lakes, which contain 20 percent of the world’s supply of fresh water and 95 percent of the North American supply of surface freshwater, represent an invaluable natural resource for the people living within and along the basin’s boundaries."

As fresh water supplies in other regions are consumed and droughts continue to affect many areas of the U.S., Schimminger noted that there will be continued pressure to look at the Great Lakes as a possible water supply. "The compact sets restrictions and conditions related to withdrawals, diversions, transfers and uses of water in the Great Lakes Basin," Schimminger, a prime sponsor of the legislation, concluded. In addition to New York, other parties to the compact are Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. The legislation will be transmitted to the Governor for his consideration and expected signature.