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Public hearing to be held on Waukesha water proposal

July 20, 2011

Now that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has determined the city of Waukesha's application for Great Lakes water is complete, a public hearing has been scheduled for July 27 in Wauwatosa, city staff told the Parks and Forestry Board on Tuesday.

The application concludes Lake Michigan is the only reasonable long-term water supply for Waukesha. Waukesha's plans call for the used water to be treated and piped to the Wauwatosa border. From there, water would get dumped into Underwood Creek in Wauwatosa, where it would ultimately travel back to Lake Michigan.

Although determined complete by the DNR, state environment officials must approve the plan before it can move forward for consideration by the governors of all Great Lakes states as required by the Great Lakes Compact.

The DNR will hold public hearings at the Muellner Building in Tosa's Hart Park, as well as in Waukesha and Sturtevant, as part of a review on the environmental, public health, sustainability, reliability and financial impacts of tapping into Great Lakes water.

All hearings will include an open house with displays, handouts and DNR staff available to answer questions starting at 5:30 p.m. A presentation and question-and-answer period will begin at 6 p.m. The formal public hearing will be conducted at the conclusion of the question-and-answer period.

People who can't attend the hearing can submit comments through Aug. 13 to Kay McConnell, DNR Bureau of Drinking Water and Groundwater, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI, 53707-7921, or by sending an email to WaukeshaDiversionApp@wi.gov. There will be a second public comment period and round of hearings after the DNR has completed its review and has a draft decision.

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