On December 8, 2008, the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact will take effect as Public Law 110–342 (122 Stat. 3739). The brief delay since Congressional approval and the President’s signing was based on the effective date of Ohio’s ratification. While Ohio approved the Great Lakes compact back in June, the approval’s effective date was delayed until December 8 after Ohio’s constitutional amendment on groundwater rights would take effect.
The Council of Great Lakes Governors is not wasting a single day before convening the inaugural meeting of the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Council on December 8 in Chicago. As provided for in the compact, the meeting is open to the public and includes an opportunity for public comments. The meeting will be preceded by a meeting of the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence River Water Resources Regional Body, which includes the Canadian provincial premiers in addition to the Great Lakes governors. Agendas for both meetings are available online. Key items including selecting the Council chair and vice chair, creating a rules and regulations committee, and adopting the basin-wide conservation and efficiency objectives. I don’t expect any fireworks, but if there are any surprises, I’ll be sure to post on them.