Public Values

Great Lakes deal lifts diversion ban for bottling companies

Legal precedent threatens 'severe harm' to Lakes, experts warn.

The Great Lakes seen from Linda Diebel, Toronto Star

July 22, 2008 — A pact designed to preserve the Great Lakes is in reality a "slippery slope" that threatens severe harm to the world's largest body of fresh water, a top US environmental lawyer has warned Canadians.

"In effect, a precedent is being set, in that it allows for the commercialization of water. You are privatizing it," James Olson said yesterday of an agreement among eight Great Lakes states now before the US Congress and linked to Ontario and Quebec through a side deal.

Among other concerns, Olson criticizes an exemption in the Great Lakes Compact allowing water to be removed by private industry as long as it's not "bulk diversion" — in other words, restricted to containers no more than 20 litres in Canada or 5.7 gallons in the US, with no limit on the number of containers a business, such as a bottler, can sell.

That means an important legal precedent has been set giving water a "product" exemption from the diversion ban on Great Lakes water. . .

Links and sources
  Water pact will deplete Great Lakes, expert fears, by Linda Diebel, Toronto Star, July 22, 2008

Posted: August 14, 2008

  Public services
  Natural resources
  Front lines
  Voices of privatization

Public Values ( is a project of the Golden Lake Institute and the online publication

Public Values
Donate to
Health care
Public services
Natural resources
Front lines
Voices of privatization
Feedback and dialogue
About Us
What is framing?
Friday, January 19, 2018
Updated frequently
To view photo captions, run your mouse over the photo
Bookmark and Share

© Golden Lake Institute/, 2007-11 owns copyright on all staff-written articles.
We encourage others to freely distribute material from this website but, without explicit permission,
Web publishers may only use short excerpts that also include credit to us and a reference to our site for the full article.
This site is managed by the Golden Lake InstituteVisit Golden Lake Institute Website and Straight Goods NewsVisit Straight Goods News Website
For comments or suggestions, please contact the Editor
For technical issues, please contact the Webmaster