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GLIN==> IJC Report gives permission to go slow, do nothing

Apologies for cross postings

Phone: 	888-281-1735
Email:	bob@superioralliance.org

Lake Superior Waterkeeper Critical of New IJC Report

“300 years is just too long to wait to get these seriously contaminated
sites cleaned up,” says Lake Superior’s new Waterkeeper, Bob Olsgard of the
newly released International Joint Commission report on contaminated sites
on the Great Lakes.  Olsgard says the report seems to suggest the present
rate of restoration is OK.  But he suggests some simple math as a test.  "In
the 16 years since the 43 areas of concern were identified we’ve cleaned up
two, that’s eight years for each site.  Multiply that by the remaining 41
sites and that pushes the cleanup well into the 24th century.  That’s
outrageous and unacceptable."

Great Lakes United’s John Jackson agrees.  “This is the most disappointing
report I’ve seen from the IJC,” says Jackson.  He adds:  “It doesn’t do
anything to push the governments to speed up the cleanups.”  And Jackson
worries that the newly issued recommendations might actually encourage the
governments to do less than they’re already doing to clean up this historic
contamination.  The report, says Jackson;  “seems to support the ‘do-nothing
’ approach of ‘natural recovery’.”

Jackson  and Lake Superior’s Waterkeeper give the report, Status of
Restoration Activities at Great Lakes Areas of Concern, released by the
International Joint Commission yesterday, low marks.  “The governments
didn't need encouragement to go slower or do less," says Olsgard, adding
that "the IJC’s recommendations for reports and maps and monitoring--most of
which were supposedly done three years ago--will only perpetuate an already
entrenched pattern of inaction.  Still more troubling are the Commissioners’
suggestions for just declaring success and doing nothing at all.”

Lake Superior has eight areas of concern.  Of these dangerously contaminated
areas, none have seen their beneficial uses completely restored.

The Lake Superior Alliance is an international environmental organization
including 40 local and regional environmental groups located in the United
States and Canada and more than 300 individuals devoted to protecting and
restoring the Lake Superior Basin.  Earlier this year the Alliance initiated
a Lake Superior Waterkeeper program joining the international Waterkeeper
Alliance as the world’s 100th keeper program.  The Lake Superior Waterkeeper
is committed to identifying pollution problems in the basin and taking swift
and effective action to clean them up.

Bob Olsgard, Lake Superior Waterkeeper
The Lake Superior Alliance
PO Box 33
Ashland, WI 54806
715-635-8171 561-760-6132(FAX)
888-281-1735(Toll Free)

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