Weishan criticizes Waukesha’s Lake Michigan water plan

    In response to the City of Waukesha’s working application to request access to the Great Lakes Basin, Milwaukee County Supervisor John Weishan Jr. is sponsoring a resolution that opposes Waukesha’s proposed return flow mechanisms, which include the discharge of wastewater into streams tributary to Lake Michigan.
    The Waukesha Common Council will vote on the application tonight, deciding to continue the application process to request access to the Great Lakes Basin governed by the Great Lakes St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact.
    “As a property owner they (Waukesha) need to find another route,” Weishan said.
    Weishan said he concerned about possible pollution to Underwood Creek and Root River within the county’s border, in addition to possible damage to neighboring properties.
    “It’s essential that any water be returned to Lake Michigan, but I am absolutely opposed to using creeks as the return flow mechanism,” Weishan said. “It seems everyone is on the fast track with both the City of Waukesha and the DNR to submit the application, when the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) has yet to finalize their regional water supply study.”
    The SEWRPC study could lead to the preparation and adoption of a regional water supply system plan.
    According to Weishan, who was appointed by Gov. Jim Doyle to serve on SWERPC, the regional study results should be ready by the end of 2010 or 2011.
    “This (Waukesha) request makes a mockery of the planning process,” Weishan said.
    Last May, the city of New Berlin was granted access to the basin. Because its boundaries straddle the Great Lakes Water Basin, New Berlin’s application only needed approval from the state.
    Non-bordering cities such as Waukesha must seek approval of both Wisconsin regulators and the governing states in the Great Lakes compact.
    Weishan’s resolution will be considered at the next meeting of the Milwaukee County’s Parks, Energy & Environment Committee meeting on April 13. If approved, the resolution would move to vote at the full board meeting on April 22, which is also Earth Day.
    – BizTimes Milwaukee

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