Dead-enders in Wisconsin and Ohio suddenly think they have the power to undo the Great Lakes compact, although they aren't putting it that way. No, they will try to pass an amended compact that is 'better' than the one that has passed or is about to pass four states, in the hopes that they'll all see the wisdom of Wisconsin and Ohio and go along too.
And what's the big issue they're addressing in their 'improved' compact? Why, turning over the Great Lakes to private parties (and special interests). They're for this! They're either unable to understand the implications of their actions, ignorant of what the public trust is, or doing the bidding of those who want to privatize the lakes, starting with the tributaries. The idea that the compact as is will affect anyone's use of a private well on their property is absurd. But the language proposed to rectify this non-existent issue will artificially sever some water from other water, and create a class of private waters that Nestle and others can tap without any public approval.
The current language states that “The Waters of the Basin are a precious natural resource shared and held in trust by the states.” While that sounds reasonable on its face, Senator Grendell noted that the “devil is in the details.” The problem is that “waters of the Basin” is defined as not just the Great Lakes, streams and navigable surface waters, but also includes groundwater and wells, that run under and supply the homes of private property owners throughout the 35 counties in Ohio that are part of the Basin.
Grendell’s alternative Compact simply proposes that the language of the Compact be modified to read: “The Waters of the Basin are precious public natural resources and, except for tributary groundwater and nonnavigable surface waters, are shared and held in trust by the states. In addition, the Waters of the Basin are subject to reasonable regulation by the Council.”
“We support passage of a multi-state
Compact to protect the Great Lakes,” Grendell
said. “What we cannot support is ambiguous language that would call into
question for example, the rights of private property owners to use or tap into
groundwater on their own land. As it stands today, the Compact we are being
asked to approve would be in direct conflict with Ohio's tradition of strong private property