International Joint Commission, October 05, 2005


The International Joint Commission Invites Your Views at 14 Public Meetings and a Web Dialog on the Future of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

[Rachel's introduction: The U.S. and Canada are now reviewing the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and will hold 14 public meetings and a Web Dialog this month and next. This is a great opportunity to embed precautionary thinking even more deeply into the restoration and protection of the Great Lakes.]

The governments of the United States and Canada have asked the International Joint Commission (IJC) to consult with the residents of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River basin to find out their views on what needs to be done to protect water quality in their area, and on the future of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

First signed in 1972 and last amended nearly 20 years ago, the Water Quality Agreement outlines the commitment of each country to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the waters of the Great Lakes basin ecosystem, including the international portion of the St. Lawrence River.

In the Agreement, the two governments commit to virtually eliminate the input of persistent toxic substances. It has also resulted in cooperation between the United States and Canada to limit the discharge of nutrients and toxic substances into the waters, restore degraded areas and undertake other joint activities designed to improve water quality.

The governments intend to launch a review of the operation and effectiveness of the Agreement in early 2006. The guidelines for the review process specify that a precautionary approach will be taken. (See story in this issue of Rachel's Precaution Reporter.)

The International Joint Commission will hold 14 public meetings across the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River basin, conduct a Web Dialogue and accept written and oral submissions until November 30. For more information, call toll-free at 1-866- 813-0642 or check the IJC's web site.

Schedule of public meetings:

** Monday, October 17 at 7 p.m. in Montreal, Quebec, at City Hall, 275 Notre-Dame Street East

** Monday, October 24 at 7 p.m. in Duluth, Minnesota, at the Central Hillside Community Center, 12 East 4th Street

** Tuesday, October 25 at 7 p.m. in Thunder Bay, Ontario, at City Hall, 500 Donald Street East

** Thursday, October 27 at 7 p.m. in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, in the City Council Chamber at the Civic Centre, 99 Foster Drive

** Tuesday, November 1 at 7 p.m. in Bay City, Michigan, at City Hall, 301 Washington Avenue

** Tuesday, November 1 at 7 p.m. in Green Bay, Wisconsin, at the KI Convention Center, 333 Main Street

** Wednesday, November 2 at 7 p.m. in Chicago, Illinois, in the Phelps Auditorium at the Shedd Aquarium, 1200 South Lake Shore Drive

** Wednesday, November 2 at 3 p.m. in Detroit, Michigan, at the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, One Woodward Avenue, Suite 1900

** Wednesday, November 2 at 7 p.m. in Windsor, Ontario, at the Cleary International Centre, 201 Riverside Drive West

** Thursday, November 3, at 7 p.m. in Cleveland, Ohio, in the Rotunda of City Hall, 601 Lakeside Avenue

** Tuesday, November 8 at 7 p.m. in Quebec City, Quebec, at City Hall, 2 rue des Jardins

** Tuesday, November 8 at 7 p.m. in Midland, Ontario, in the Council Chamber at the Municipal Building, 575 Dominion Avenue

** Wednesday, November 9 at 7 p.m. in Toronto, Ontario, at City Hall, 100 Queen Street West.

** Thursday, November 10 at 7:30 p.m. in Rochester, New York, in the City Council Chambers at City Hall, 30 Church Street

Can't Attend? You can contribute online.

Or call toll-free 1-866-813-0642

Fax (613) 993-5583

Or write:

International Joint Commission Great Lakes Regional Office (Canada) 100 Ouellette Ave., 8th Floor Windsor, ON N9A 6T3

In the United States P.O. Box 32869 Detroit, MI 48232

The deadline for comments is midnight, November 30, 2005