Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317/232-1622

For Immediate Release: Dec 14, 2005
Governor Daniels to sign agreements to protect Great Lakes water

Indianapolis (December 14, 2005) ? Governor Mitch Daniels has committed to sign agreements that will provide unprecedented protections for the Great Lakes?St. Lawrence River Basin.

The historic agreements, which include a ban on diversions of water outside the basin with limited exceptions, also were approved by the governors of Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and the premiers of Ontario and Québec. The agreements detail how the affected states and provinces will manage the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin and will provide a framework for each State and Province to enact laws protecting the Basin.

Kyle Hupfer, director of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, represented the governor at the signing ceremony Tuesday (December 13) at the Council of Great Lakes Governors? (CGLG) Leadership Summit in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

?The Great Lakes are a treasure, providing unparalleled natural resources and beauty to our region. They provide a quality water supply for our communities, businesses and farmers, and support a tremendous variety of first-rate recreation and tourism,? said Daniels. ?These agreements protect the Great Lakes by prohibiting large scale diversions of water. They also establish a sensible approach concerning management of water uses that preserves the right of current and future reasonable use of the resource.?

Among the primary components of the agreements:

? There will be a ban on diversions of water from the basin. Limited exceptions could be allowed, such as for public water supply purposes in communities near the basin, but exceptions would be strictly regulated.

? States and provinces will use a consistent standard to review proposed uses of Great Lakes water.

? The collection of technical data will be strengthened, and states and provinces will share the information, which will improve decision-making by the governments.

? States and provinces will more aggressively conserve and improve efficient use of the resource. Regional goals and objectives for water conservation and efficiency will be developed, and they will be reviewed every five years.

? Lasting economic development will be encouraged while making sure water uses are sustainable and Great Lakes waters are managed responsibly without putting future economic growth at risk.

? The waters of the basin are recognized as a shared public treasure and there is a strong commitment to continued public involvement in the implementation of the agreements.

The complete text of the agreements may be found