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E-M:/ GLIN:/ IJC Biennial Report on Great Lakes

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

Date: Wed, 22 Jul 1998 12:06:58 -0400
From: Christine Manninen <manninen@glc.org>
Organization: Great Lakes Commission
To: glin-announce <glin-announce@great-lakes.net>
Subject: IJC Releases Ninth Biennial Report
Sender: owner-glin-announce@great-lakes.net
List-Name: GLIN-Announce

Posted on behalf of Jennifer Day <DayJ@windsor.ijc.org>


The federal governments of the United States and Canada must renew their
dedication and fulfill their commitments under their Great Lakes Water
Quality Agreement to restore and protect Great Lakes water quality,
concludes the International Joint Commission in its Ninth Biennial
Report on Great Lakes Water Quality.

The goal of the Ninth Biennial Report is to rejuvenate action on the
part of governments and bring solutions and resolution to on-going
problems and issues affecting the Great Lakes.  The Commission has made
19 recommendations that present a number of specific targets and
deadlines to help achieve the agreement's purpose and measure progress
toward this end.  Recommendations are made in the areas of: 

        -  initiating and completing remediation of contaminated
        -  reducing and eliminating sources of air pollution containing
specific toxic and persistent toxic substances;
        -  reducing pollution to the Great Lakes from agricultural land;
        -  funding research about endocrine disruption in humans and
        -  adopting a strategy relating to dioxins and furans; 
        -  identifying and eliminating specific uses of mercury;
        -  developing a detailed program for the systematic destruction
of PCBs; and
        -  monitoring of nuclear facilities and toxic chemicals used at
nuclear facilities, as well as the effects of certain radioactive

The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement has been renegotiated twice in
the past 26 years to include current issues such persistent toxic
substances.  It is scheduled to be reviewed again this year.  The
Commission firmly believes, "... the present Agreement is sound,
effective and flexible.  Review and renegotiation are not necessary."
Rather, the governments need to renew and fulfill their commitments and
focus on implementation, enforcement and other actions to achieve the
Agreement's purpose."

The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement is a formal commitment by Canada
and the U.S. to restore and protect the Great Lakes.  Progress in the
Agreement's implementation includes many success stories and positive
signs that the lakes are returning to better health.  Because of its
success, the Agreement serves as a model of international environmental
cooperation around the world.  This progress reflects the courage and
willingness of our governments in the past to deal with environmental
problems of the Great Lakes.  Even so, the United States and Canada
cannot afford to retreat from their mutual commitments to protect their
shared resources.  

Tremendous gains have been made toward achieving the purpose of the
Agreement, yet despite decades of effort, society has not gone far
enough.  The issue of persistent toxic substances has not been resolved
and the Commission again stresses the importance of virtually
eliminating the input of these contaminants to the Great Lakes system.
There is overwhelming evidence that certain persistent toxic substances
impair human intellectual capacity, change behavior, damage the immune
system and compromise reproductive capacity.  The report states, "Injury
has occurred in the past, is occurring today and, unless society acts
now to further reduce the concentration of persistent toxic substances
in the environment, the injury will continue in the future."

The Commission continues to focus on persistent toxic substances in the
Great Lakes, but also recognizes the impact of many other stressors
including land use patterns, increasing shoreline development, habitat
modification, biological contamination and nutrient input.  All must be
considered and resources should not be transferred from one issue to

The report recognizes that the federal governments should be the leaders
in protecting the Great Lakes, but all stakeholders, provincial and
state governments  in the Great Lakes basin have roles and
responsibilities to insure that restoration and protection become a

The International Joint Commission is a binational Canada-United States
organization established by the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty to assist
the governments in preventing disputes related to boundary waters along
the U.S./Canadian border.  The Commission's report is issued biennially
as required by the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

For additional copies, contact an IJC office as listed below, or
http://www.ijc.org on the Internet.

U.S. Section                                            
Frank Bevacqua                                  
1250 23rd Street N.W., Suite 100                       
Washington, D.C. 20440
202-736-9024 telephone                                  
202-736-9015 fax                                       

Canadian Section
Fabien Lengellé
100 Metcalfe Street, 18th floor
Ottawa, ON K1P 5M1
613-995-0088 telephone
613-993-5583 fax

Great Lakes Regional Office
Jennifer Day
100 Ouellette Avenue, Eighth floor
Windsor, ON N9A 6T3     
519-257-6734 telephone
519-257-6740 fax
P.O. Box 32869
Detroit, MI 48232,                              
313-226-2170  ext. 6734 telephone

Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  ajs@sagady.com
Environmental Consulting and Database Systems
PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039  
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)

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