THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release
Thursday, September 23, 1999 Contact:
VICE PRESIDENT ANNOUNCES SUPPORT
FOR PROTECTION OF GREAT LAKES BASIN
Calls for Moratorium on Export of Fresh Water from Great Lakes
Washington, DC -- Vice President Al Gore called today for a moratorium
on the export of Great Lakes water in order to enhance protection of the
Great Lakes basin and its economy. The Vice President endorsed bipartisan
legislation introduced by Representative Bart Stupak (D-MI) that would
place a moratorium on bulk diversion of Great Lakes water.
"The Great Lakes basin is a fragile national treasure where the health
of the economy and the environment are intricately linked," the Vice President
said. "I call on Congress to immediately enact this legislation to help
us better protect the freshwater resources that working families in the
region depend upon."
A moratorium was recommended in early August by the International Joint
Commission, established in 1909 to assist the United States and Canada
in decisions regarding shared waterways. In a report entitled "The Waters
of the Great Lakes," which responds to public concern about potential
exports of Great Lakes water, the Commission urges that U.S. and Canadian
federal, state and local governments not allow bulk removal of Great Lakes
surface or ground water until further study.
"This moratorium is necessary so that we can learn more about the impacts
of removing water from the Lakes and understand the best way to manage
and protect this precious natural resource for future generations," the
Vice President said.
The proposed legislation, H.R. 2595, is co-sponsored by Representative
Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Representative Thomas Barrett (D-WI), among others,
and has bipartisan support of Members of Congress representing districts
along the Great Lakes.
The International Joint Commission's report, "The Waters of the Great
Lakes," can be viewed on the Internet at http://www.ijc.org/boards/cde/interimreport/interimreporte.html.
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