1999 GREAT LAKES WATER QUALITY FORUM
SEPTEMBER 24-26, 1999
LIGHTLY EDITED, VERBATIM TRANSCRIPT
SATURDAY MORNING, SEPTEMBER 25
Tom Barrett, Congressman
Thank you very much. My name is Tom Barrett and I'm the congressional representative for this area. I want to welcome you all to Milwaukee and to Wisconsin. We are just delighted that you have chosen our area to have your meeting. We love to have visitors. You've come at a good time of the year. It's not too cold. It's not too hot. I will say, if you have little time later this morning, at about 10:30 there is going to be a big run that goes right down Wisconsin Avenue, an 8 km run. During your break if you want to put on your tennis shoes, you might want to get a little exercise. There will be couple thousand people that will be streaming past the building a little past 10:30.
The Great Lakes represent not only an incredible natural resource but perhaps, also, the most beautiful natural feature of both the United States and Canada. The tremendous work and cooperation that all of you here have put into this issue is vital to the future of this great treasure. I am honoured today to have the opportunity to introduce the presentations of the United States and Canadian governments.
Before I do that, I just want to take a second to talk about a bill that I have cosponsored in Washington along with several others. We have introduced legislation, several Great Lakes representatives and I, Bart Stupack of Michigan, Jack Quinn of New York, Jerrett Brown, Steve LaTourette, and Ted Strickland of Ohio have introduced a bill that would place a moratorium on the bulk sale of the Great Lakes water. This moratorium would remain in place until stronger laws are established to protect this freshwater resource and more thoroughly study the issue. Just this past Thursday Vice President Gore endorsed our bill. Vice President Gore's endorsement builds on the momentum created when the International Joint Commission also adopted this far-sighted approach by recommending a moratorium on bulk sales of Great Lakes water until it can complete its study of the environmental and economic impact of the sales. I want to thank you for your support on this issue.
Now it gives me great pleasure to introduce our distinguished panels this morning. First is Francis X. Lyons from the United States. Mr. Lyons is the Regional Administrator of the U.S. EPA in Region V, a post that he accepted this May. As a Regional Administrator, Mr. Lyons leads the implementation of federal environmental programs in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Prior to joining the EPA, Mr. Lyons served more than 10 years as a trial lawyer in the federal and state government and spent over four years with the United States Department of Justice, Environmental Enforcement Section. Mr. Lyons has received both the Department of Justice's special achievement award for superior performance of duty and its special commendation award for outstanding service. While at the Department of Justice he received an EPA award as a member of the Superfund Enforcement Team of the Year.
Second is George Meyer from Wisconsin. George Meyer serves as Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, a position to which he was first appointed in 1993. Mr. Meyer is responsible for the oversight of our state's resource management and environmental quality and protection. Prior to this current position, Mr. Meyer was the Administrator of the Department of Natural Resources' Division of Enforcement, an agency responsible for resolving violations of environmental statutes, regulating waterway, shore-land, and wetland permitting and zoning, and administering environmental impacts and assessments. Mr. Meyer has also served as a staff attorney in the Department of Natural Resources, where he was the legal council for air management, water regulation, environmental impact, and a number of other areas.
Third is John Mills from Ontario. John is the Regional Director General of Ontario Region for Environment Canada. He has held this position, also since 1993. Mr. Mills is responsible for all Environment Canada Programs in Ontario and is the Canadian lead for the Great Lakes Program. Other positions Mr. Mills has held include Assistant Deputy Minister for Atmospheric Environment Service, Chairman for the Ontario Federation Council, and Director General of Weather Services, where he ensured the delivery of quality weather and ice information for all Canadians. Mr. Mills also played a lead role in the public consultation phase of the Canadian government's Green Plan.
Fourth, Doug Barnes from Canada. Mr. Barnes is the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Integrated Environmental Planning Division at Ontario's Ministry of Environment. The division develops policies, strategies, and programs that support conservation and environmental protection. Mr. Barnes has previously acted as an Acting Assistant Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Director of the Local Governmental Policy Branch. He was also the Executive Coordinator for the Regional Operations Branch and Director of the Municipal Boundaries Branch.
Would you join me in giving them a round of applause, please. (Applause) I will now turn it over to Frank Lyons. Thank you very much.