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GLIN==> water agreement update calls - second notice



Dear Great Lakes citizen,

You are invited to attend repeating conference calls held by Great Lakes United to update fellow basin citizens on the continuing official review of the U.S.-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. On the calls we will also open the floor to updates by basin environmental organizations and individual activists on their plans for involvement in the remaining months of the review.

We are holding three calls, but all the calls will have the same agenda. We wanted to accommodate all those potentially interested. Dates and times for the calls are:

Evening of Tuesday, February 6, 7:30 p.m. EST (6:30 CST)

Morning of Wednesday, February 7, 10:00 a.m. EST (9:00 CST)

Afternoon of Thursday, February 8, 2:00 p.m. EST (1:00 CST)

The agenda is intended to last an hour and fifteen minutes, but could go a bit longer (no more than fifteen minutes longer) if people have a lot to say about their plans for next steps in the review.

The call agenda is:

--Summary of the official Canada-U.S. review process (10 minutes)
--Very brief summaries of the draft reports produced by the nine official "Review Working Groups" (20 minutes)
--Brief summary of the draft report of the "Governance and Institutions" Review Working Group. We are dealing with this group separately because the process for creating it was substantially different than for the other working groups (5 minutes)
--Summary of "Promises to Keep," a report on changes needed to the agreement by four basin environmental groups (5 minutes)
--Summary of recommendations for changing the agreement by the International Joint Commission, the official U.S.-Canada watchdog of the agreement( 5 minutes)
--Outline of the official review process going forward (5 minutes)
--Discussion of what call participants are planning or hoping to do this year with respect to the agreement (15 minutes)
--Outline of what Great Lakes United is planning to do (10 minutes)


If you are interested in being on one of the calls, reply to me and I will put you on the list to receive call-in information soon.

Note: You do not need to decide in advance which call you want to be on. Most of those who have expressed interest in the calls so far have mentioned that they were planning to attend the Wednesday morning call. There is no limit to the number of people who can be on the calls. However, we do hope there will be enough time on every call for anybody who has a question to be able to ask it, and for anybody with plans for work related to the agreement to be able to tell the rest of the group about them. So if you are a) interested in the Wednesday morning call time, b) think you might have questions or plans to tell the group about, *and* c) another time works just as well, then consider coming onto that other call.

Some background information on the agreement and its review:

The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement is the region's foundational binational structure for reducing most pollution in the basin and eliminating certain kinds of it. First signed by Canada and the United States in 1972 with a focus on sewage, the agreement was updated in 1978 to deal with long-lived toxic substances and in 1987 to focus on particularly polluted places. Last year the two governments established nine working groups open to anyone, and one working group (dealing with governance) by invitation, to review various aspects of the agreement. The purpose was to help the governments decide if they should revise the agreement again.

The working groups were charged with assessing on-the-ground progress against the goals of the agreement. The working groups were also charged with suggesting changes to the agreement based either on unsatisfactory on-the-ground progress or on environmental needs unforeseen at the time of the last revisions. The nine open groups finished their reports in December. The invitation governance group finalized its report at the end of January.

Various regional and national environmental officials will be looking at the materials over the next few months. Eventually they will submit the reports, possibly in substantially altered form, to public comment, currently scheduled for late spring or early summer of this year. Sometime thereafter the U.S. State Department and Canada's Ministry of Foreign Affairs will decide whether to open negotiations between the two countries to revise the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

Please forward this message to anyone you think might be interested.

Hope to hear you on the calls.

Reg Gilbert



__________________________________________

Reg Gilbert
Senior Coordinator
Great Lakes United

(716) 362-3152

Home office address:
790 Auburn Ave.
Buffalo, New York, 14222

Headquarters office address:
Buffalo State College, Cassety Hall
1300 Elmwood Ave.
Buffalo, New York, 14222

www.glu.org

An international coalition promoting and
coordinating basinwide initiatives to protect
and restore the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence
River ecosystem

Celebrating 25 years of Great Lakes Protection
Join us in Toronto June 15-17
for our 25th Annual General Meeting.
For information visit <http://www.glu.org/25years>http://www.glu.org/25years

Great Lakes United was founded in 1982.

Great Lakes United staff are represented by
United Autoworkers Local 55 Amalgamated

_____________________________________________





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