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GLIN==> Funding passes for Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Study

Posted on behalf of Frank Bevacqua <bevacquaf@washington.ijc.org>


Funding passes for Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Study

President Bill Clinton yesterday signed a Fiscal Year 2000 supplemental
spending package, passed by the Congress on June 30, which provides funding
for the International Joint Commission (IJC) to begin its study of water
levels and flows in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. The $2.15
million appropriation provides for the U.S; share of first year costs of the
five-year study, which will be funded by the United States and Canada. The
Canadian Section of the IJC is currently seeking funding from the Canadian

"We commend Congressman John McHugh and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter and
their Great Lakes Congressional colleagues for their leadership in setting
this study in motion, as well as the citizens living on Lake Ontario and the
St. Lawrence River for advocating the effort," said IJC U.S. Section Chair
Thomas L. Baldini.

In April 1999, the IJC had informed the governments of Canada and the United
States that it was becoming increasingly urgent to review the regulation of
Lake Ontario outflows in view of dissatisfaction, on the part of some
interests, with the working of that system and in light of environmental
concerns and climate change issues. The IJC transmitted a detailed Plan of
Study to the governments of the United States and Canada in October 1999 and
requested the governments' assistance in securing the approximately $20
million (U.S.) needed to carry out the work.

It has been nearly 50 years since a comprehensive assessment was performed
of water levels and flows regulation in the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River
system. However, the IJC recognizes that the study may not resolve all the
issues or result in significant additional benefits for any interest group.

Initial efforts will focus on gathering data needed for technical analyses
and on involving the public in the study.

The International Joint Commission was created under the Boundary Waters
Treaty of 1909 to help prevent and resolve disputes over the use of waters
along the Canada-United States boundary. Its responsibilities include
approving certain projects that would change the natural levels and flows of
boundary waters, such as the international hydropower project at Massena,
New York and Cornwall, Ontario. If it approves a project, the IJC's Orders
of Approval may require that the flows through the project meet certain
conditions to protect the interests in both countries. For more information,
please visit the IJC's web site at www.ijc.org.

Contact Frank Bevacqua  (202) 736-9024

July 14, 2000

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