Monday, July 18, 2016

Great Lakes Siphoning Begins With Waukesha, Wisconsin

Waukesha, Wisconsin has been granted permission to pull water from Lake Michigan. Waukesha wells are contaminated with radium, a radioactive element that occurs in aquifers. It is natural. As water demands exceed supply, wells go deeper, creating more opportunity for radium infusion. What is not natural is the Great Lakes Watershed Counsel voted to allow Waukesha to siphon water from Lake Michigan. Eight Great Lakes governors and Canadian provinces Quebec and Ontario voted to allow this redirect. Waukesha has promised to return the volume of water it siphons back to Lake Michigan, using wastewater treated at a facility in Racine. Nothing can go wrong with that.

In 2011 Ontario's Bruce Power applied to ship 16 one-ton nuclear contaminated containers through Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway to a recycle center in Sweden. I started making phone calls about that, including to the members of the Great Lakes Compact. One person didn't know there was a proposal on the table! The request was eventually denied, thanks to freshwater activism, and Senator Stabenow (D-MI). I don't know the status of the request to dig a mile-and-a-half deep geologic repository of nuclear waste on the shore of Lake Huron, but I'll start again on that right now. Because nothing can go wrong with that.

Eight Great Lakes governors voted to allow the Waukesha drain. Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin. How many of these states have extensive fracking sites? How many of these states have excessive radium levels in the aquifers that may also take advantage of the fine print in the Great Lakes Compact? Flint, Michigan was poisoned. Government played with water sources. Nothing could go wrong with that.

Michigan governor Snyder, environmentally obtuse and negligent, just appointed a BP exec as MDEQ head. While she may have PR credentials (having helped cover asses over Deepwater Horizon), she is not an advocate for public health or environmental issues. May as well ask Dick Cheney to keep an eye on war profiteering. Nothing can go wrong with that.

Freshwater activists can keep an eye on their own state's environmental quality. Following is the list of DEQ(s).

New York

Wisconsin doesn't have a department devoted to protecting the environment. Nothing can go wrong with that.