Michigan DEQ accepting public comments on Waukesha, Wisconsin request for Great Lakes basin water diversion

EP News Wire Reports, January 14, 2016

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is now accepting public comments on an application from Waukesha, Wisconsin, which is requesting to divert water from the Great Lakes basin. 

"The Great Lakes are an integral component of Michigan's environmental, economic, cultural and social heritage," DEQ Office of the Great Lakes Director Jon Allan said. "Ensuring their protection is our first priority, and we're going to take a careful look at this application. We welcome public input on the proposal, and look forward to meeting with interested Michiganders next month." 

Waukesha’s current water supply has unacceptable levels of radium, and Wisconsin has ordered the city to address the issue. The city is located in a county that is part of the Great Lakes basin, and is therefore allowed to request a diversion of its waters. 

Waukesha has applied to both the Great Lakes Compact Council and the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Water Resources Regional Body, and must now receive approval from the eight states included in the compact. 

The Michigan DEQ is accepting public comments to inform its decision, which can be submitted online until March. 1. The DEQ will also hold two public meetings on Feb. 9 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and again from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Lansing Community College West Campus in Lansing, where interested parties can submit their comments in person.