Environmental Groups Push For Tougher Review Of Waukesha Diversion Plan

Wisconsin Public Radio, January 7, 2016
Author: Chuck Quirmbach

Great Lakes states have already approved spending more than $750,000 to consider Waukesha's application to take drinking water from Lake Michigan, but environmental groups are pushing for an even more extensive review.

Waukesha's application would be the first major diversion of Great Lakes water allowed since a multi-state compact was signed eight years ago. Jodi Habush-Sinykin of Midwest Environmental Advocates urged the council overseeing that compact to approve enough money for an independent look at Waukesha's plan.

"Be forewarned that the budget you authorized will need to account for funds sufficient to undertake an independent technical review or at the least obtain technical assistance to determine whether Waukesha may in fact have available reasonable water supply alternative," she said.

Waukesha officials say the city welcomes a detailed review.

Environmental groups also want more public hearings on the city's  diversion plan. Michigan may hold a hearing Feb. 9, but the Compact Council is only planning one hearing in Waukesha, scheduled for Feb. 18.