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Ministry of Natural Resources approves US water pipeline

The Sarnia Observer reported on Monday that, “If it’s OK with the Ministry of Natural Resources, it’s OK with the community leaders who operate Sarnia-Lambton’s water supply system. A proposal to pump 322 million litres (85 million gallons) of water a day from Lake Huron to Michigan’s Genesee County was endorsed by the board of the Lambton Area Water Supply System this week.”

“The proposal had generated concern from several corners, including members of the LAWSS board. In July, they wanted the project placed on hold until their questions could be addressed. But a letter from the MNR this week assured LAWSS that the water used in Genesee County would remain in the Lake Huron watershed. That makes all the difference, said LAWSS member Terry Burrell. ‘You’re always afraid they’ll take the water and ship it off to Arizona or someplace where it’s very dry.’ He put the motion forward to endorse the Genesee proposal and had unanimous support.”

“While the $400-million proposal appears to have Ontario’s blessing, it’s far from a done deal. There are several legal hoops the pipeline needs to jump through before it can go ahead. Genesee, which supplies water to the Flint area, currently buys its supply from the Detroit Water System. Their residents are being charged higher rates and are increasingly at the mercy of an aging pipeline that breaks down frequently.”

That news report is at

On July 23, the Canwest News Service reported that, “Led by Sarnia, Ont., Mayor Mike Bradley, an international flap is mounting over a $300 million US waterline planned by Michigan’s Genesee County that would draw 85 million gallons per day (MGD) from Lake Huron. Critics have labelled the project a potential water diversion from the Great Lakes that should be more carefully scrutinized, if not blocked. In an interview Wednesday, Bradley said the process of notifying authorities on both sides of the border about significant withdrawals of water from the Great Lakes should be improved. Water is ‘the new oil,’ Bradley said.”

That’s at

As noted in a June 16 campaign blog at, the Times Herald in Michigan reported that, “The drain commissioner of (Cheboygan County) with Lake Huron shoreline plans to sue if a plan (by Genesee County) to tap the lake for 85 million gallons (322 million litres) of water a day is approved by the state.”

“The ($400 million) plan calls for as many as 85 million gallons of water to be pumped daily from Lake Huron and piped (in a 6-foot diameter pipeline) to serve as the public water supply for (inland) Genesee County, Flint and portions of Lapeer, Sanilac, Saginaw and Shiawassee counties.”

“The area the withdrawal would serve now uses the Detroit Water System, which gets water from Lake Huron at a site about four miles from Genesee’s proposed site. Because of that, Genesee County officials argue there would be no net loss to the lake because it is coming from the same source.”

The Drain Commissioner of Cheboygan County Dennis Lennox argues that Detroit has made no promise to reduce its withdrawals from Lake Huron under this plan.

“The state’s Department of Environmental Quality, which must approve the plan, has opened a public comment period (until July 15, now extended to August 29) to allow input on the proposal. A decision is expected later in the summer.”

Mr. Lennox recently wrote in an opinion piece that, “Should the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality approve the pipeline to Lake Huron, a dangerous precedent will be set that will spawn identical projects across the Great Lakes region resulting in mass diversions and the commercial exploitation of water resources.”

Mr. Lennox argues that the water pipeline would violate the Great Lakes Compact and risk additional water pipelines in Michigan and Ontario.

Sarnia radio station 99.9 FM reported that, “Sarnia’s Mayor welcomes the intervention (by Mr. Lennox). …Mike Bradley says he’s been very concerned about the great lakes for a long time. …If needed, Mayor Bradley says, he will ask the Great Lakes Mayor’s Group, and the Provincial and Federal Governments to make sure Canada’s views are known.”

The Times Herald article is at

The opinion piece is at

The Sarnia radio report is at

On July 15, the Sarnia Observer reported that, “Canadian officials are getting another six weeks to comment on a massive Michigan water pipeline proposed for Lake Huron.  The state’s department of environmental quality says it will now accept comments until Aug. 29 to accommodate additional feedback from Great Lakes states, provinces and Indian nations.”

That’s at