Josh Knights, executive director of The Nature Conservancy in Ohio, congratulated Gov. John Kasich today for his courageous decision to veto Ohio House Bill 231, a bill that would have undermined the promise of the Great Lakes Compact.
Kasich vetoed the bill Friday afternoon, saying it "lacks clear standards for conservation and withdrawals and does not allow for sufficient evaluation and monitoring of withdrawals or usage."
Two former Ohio governors, most of Ohio’s major newspapers and many conservation groups and The Nature Conservancy made similar objections to the bill when it was moving through the legislature.
“We applaud Gov. Kasich for recognizing that this bill did not provide adequate protections for Lake Erie, Ohio’s most important natural asset and an economic engine for the entire state,” Knights said.
“We have the science that will allow us to provide sufficient evaluation and monitoring for withdrawals. And we look forward to working with the Governor and the Ohio General Assembly to use that science to set standards that will protect Lake Erie.”
The Compact is designed to prohibit water diversions outside of the Great Lakes watershed, as well as to ensure that the waters are used sustainably within the watershed.
The Compact became law in 2008, but states have until December 2013 to pass implementing legislation.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
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