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From staff and wire reports Published:

The proposal to divert up to 5 million gallons of water daily from Lake

Rockwell and the Cuyahoga River has alarmed Kent officials, who claim the

diversion would aggravate the river's already low water flow, resulting

in foul odors and increasing the costs of wastewater treatment.

An additional concern is that the river's oxygen levels could drop, adversely

affecting aquatic life, environmental representatives contend.

Under federal law, the governors of each of the compact's eight states _

Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and

Minnesota _ must agree on any diversion of water from the lakes; the request

is still under review by the individual governors.

Located in both Franklin Township and Streetsboro, Lake Rockwell is one

of Akron's major water supplies and the site of one of its water treatment

plants. Diverted water would supply parts of Copley, Coventry and Springfield

townships in southern Summit County as part of three joint economic development

agreements.

In the hope of striking an agreement that would minimize water releases

and compensate Kent for additional water treatment costs it could incur,

Kent City Council passed a resolution Wednesday authorizing Interim City

Manager William Lillich to initiate negotiations with Akron city officials.

A copy of the resolution was sent to Ohio Gov. George Voinovich.

Bob Brown, manager of Kent's wastewater treatment plant, has said the proposed

divergence would raise wastewater treatment costs because there would be

less river flow to dilute discharged wastewater. More stringent pollution

controls on industry might result, Brown has said.

Akron officials have proposed replacing lost flow with water from Portage

Lakes into two points in the Cuyahoga River downstream of Portage County.

Voinovich said he does not know when a decision might be made. He is negotiating

with other governors about the request.

Also Friday, the governors agreed to work with Canada on reducing air pollution

and complained about strict new pollution proposals from the U.S. Environmental

Protection Agency. Officials in Canada have complained about dirty air from

the United States.

The EPA has proposed toughening controls over the release of ozone. Ozone,

which is produced when emissions from engines are cooked by sun, causes

respiratory problems.

Under the new standard, 44 Ohio counties would be out of compliance, compared

with four now, Voinovich said.

``Many of us feel that those standards will do very little to improve public

health'' and cost too much, he said.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge and Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard signed a

memorandum committing Pennsylvania and Quebec to economic, scientific, technical

and cultural cooperation.

Ridge said the agreement paid off when wealthy European tourists from Montreal

went to see French art in Philadelphia. Ridge also said he hoped to find

more business in Quebec for biotechnology firms based in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania is Quebec's fourth-largest trading partner at $2.6 billion

last year.

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