Legislation co-sponsored by Senator Jim Alesi (R-Perinton) (S.4324-B) that will protect the Great Lakes water supply passed the Senate in a special session today and will be delivered to the Governor for his signature. The legislation, once enacted by all eight Great Lakes states, will protect these fresh water resources from other states wanting unfettered access to the five Lakes.
"The Great Lakes Compact is necessary to preserve one of the world’s sources of fresh water," Senator Jim Alesi (R-Perinton), whose district borders Lake Ontario to the north. "If this Compact does not pass all eight states on the Great Lakes, we risk losing control of safeguarding these vital waterways. As an avid outdoorsman and the Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, I understand how critical these waterways are for both recreation and economic vitality. Most importantly, the Great Lakes are the most significant source of freshwater for our region. These waters are vital for agriculture, New York’s number one industry, as well as tourism, our second largest industry. Additionally, protection of these resources is critical as a means of transportation for recreation and commerce, as well as a clean energy source. We cannot underestimate the importance of keeping these waters clean for the millions of residents who get their drinking water from the Lakes. I urge all of the Great Lakes states to pass this historic compact so we can be assured that these waterways will remain the freshest in the world for generations to come."
The states included in the Great Lakes Compact in addition to New York are: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The Canadian Provinces of Ontario and Quebec have also agreed to sign on to the Compact. To date, Minnesota has passed the bill and signed it into law and Illinois has passed the legislation and it awaits the Governor’s signature.
"Protection of our natural resources for future generations is one of the most critical steps we can take today," said Senator Alesi. "By passing this legislation, New York is leading the way in conserving some of the freshest water in the world for consumption as well as recreation and economic vitality. I urge the remaining Great Lakes states to act swiftly on this legislation so we may ensure the protection of these waterways for generations to come."