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Pleasant Prairie Shows Support of Great Lakes Water Protection
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The Pleasant Prairie Village Board adopted a resolution in support of Great Lakes Water Protection via 2007 Senate Bill 523, during an evening meeting on Monday, March 3. Pleasant Prairie Resolution #08-09 expresses formal support for the passage and enactment of the Bill (SB523), which would put legal protections in place for the natural water resources of the Great Lakes Basin. The resolution recognized Lake Michigan as a “vital resource” that needs to be protected. The Senate Bill, if passed, would essentially sign the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact into law, enabling better enforcement of the water protection policy. Similar legislation has already been passed in four of the eight Great Lakes States and is also supported by the two Canadian Provinces bordering the Great Lakes.
In the resolution passed on Monday evening, Pleasant Prairie highlighted portions of its history with Great Lakes water. Specifically, it noted that the Village turned to Lake Michigan for potable drinking water after it had found ground water in the Village to be contaminated with Radium (a naturally occurring radioactive element and carcinogen). Pleasant Prairie was the first municipality to apply for a water diversion permit under the Compact during the late 1980’s. The diversion came to pass after the introduction of a “return-flow” agreement. The agreement established that Pleasant Prairie would eventually (by the end of 2010) return the diverted water to Lake Michigan (as opposed to the Mississippi basin).
The newly adopted resolution makes reference to the millions of dollars that Pleasant Prairie has invested to construct the necessary water and sanitary sewer infrastructure in order to fulfill this promise to protect Lake Michigan water levels. During the same meeting in which the resolution was adopted, a contract for engineering services for a portion of the sanitary sewer by-pass work, to comply with the agreement, was also approved. Plans include the decommissioning of two Village wastewater treatment plants that release treated Lake Michigan water into the Mississippi Basin. Sanitary Sewer will be rerouted towards the City of Kenosha for treatment and return to Lake Michigan.