NEWS
08/03/2017 07:26 EDT | Updated 08/03/2017 11:02 EDT

Canadian, U.S. municipalities end objection to Lake Michigan water diversion

A group of mayors from Canada and the U.S. says it has dropped its challenge to a decision allowing an American city to draw water from the Great Lakes.

The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative says it has reached an agreement with the council representing eight states that last year gave the Wisconsin city of Waukesha the green light to divert water from Lake Michigan.

That decision made the city the first exception to an agreement banning diversions of water away from the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River basin.

The mayors' group says the agreement it has reached with the council calls for a rigorous review of how regulators consider water diversions in future.

Regis Labeaume, secretary of the cities initiative, says the agreement will protect the long-term integrity of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.

The city of Waukesha asked to draw on the Great Lakes because its own groundwater is contaminated with high levels of naturally-occurring radium, a cancer-causing substance.

It argued that the decision allowing it to pipe water from Lake Michigan was error-free and protects the environment.