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Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

Chicago keeps stealing and stealing

Great Lakes


During the debate about the Great Lakes Compact in September 2008, Chicago dumped 99 billion gallons of sewage into Lake Michigan following a strong storm.
I blogged on September 25, 2008:

Chicago’s dumping of vast amounts of sewage into Lake Michigan should come as no surprise. Historically, Chicago has more or less been able to do whatever it wants about Lake Michigan, regardless of the circumstances or consequences.

Take, for instance, Chicago’s diversion of water from the Great Lakes.

The Illinois-Michigan Canal was opened to shipping traffic in 1848, the same year Wisconsin entered the Union. Every day, 64.6 million gallons of water was diverted from Lake Michigan at Chicago through the Chicago and Illinois Rivers to the Mississippi River.

The Windy City’s sewage poured into the Chicago River and then into Lake Michigan, Chicago’s drinking water source. As a result, in 1885, over 10 percent of Chicago’s population, 90,000 people died from cholera.

Since then, the amount of water in the Chicago diversion has grown substantially, even beyond the limit imposed by a 1967 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The Chicago diversion was not only in direct defiance of the high court, but is, today, the largest diversion out of the Great Lakes Basin. The other Great Lakes states voiced concern, leading to a battle in federal court.

Illinois agreed to reduce the outtake of water from Lake Michigan to the amount set by previous court decisions. The other states agreed not to take legal action for previous Illinois violations. What a sweet deal Illinois received. At a time when Wisconsin communities are desperate for water, today, millions of northeast Illinois residents that live outside the Great Lakes Basin have access to Lake Michigan water because of the Chicago diversion.

With that history in mind, I am not surprised at Chicago’s recent dumping of sewage into Lake Michigan.”


Writing in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, freelance columnist Mike Nichols has a more blunt assessment. Nichols writes;

Once upon a time, many years ago, Chicago was a cesspool.

It was so polluted in the late 1800s, it has been written, that chickens could run across the scum that formed on top of the rivers.

The smell and the disease were too much even for Chicagoans to bear. So they did something about it.

They stole Lake Michigan.”

Nichols reports that the same canal Chicago built over 160 years ago that has allowed the city to steal water is also responsible for the invasion of Asian carp. Plug that link between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi, Nichols contends, and you resolve the carp issue and the water thievery.

You can read Nichols’ column here. 

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