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The International Joint Commission (IJC) is planning to review the Lake Superior outflow regulation operations. The review will be conducted in light of the impacts of these operations on water levels and flows, as well as the affected interests in the Upper Great Lakes system from Lake Superior downstream through Lake Erie.

A plan of study for this purpose was prepared in 2002, but the study was not initiated. In May 2005, the IJC appointed a binational team to expand the 2002 plan of study to include an investigation of physical changes in the St. Clair River and the impacts they might have on water levels and flows, and on Lake Superior outflow regulation.

In revising the plan of study, the team consulted with the participants in the International Lake Ontario–St. Lawrence River Study on lessons learned, and took into consideration public comments collected during the summer 2005. The binational team submitted its revised plan of study to the IJC on October 14, 2005.

Background

Pursuant to the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909, the Commission in 1914 approved the diversion of water from the St. Mary's River for power generation purposes in Canada and the United States and the construction of a gated control structure (the Compensating Works) across the St. Marys River. The Commission, through its International Lake Superior Board of Control, regulates the outflows of Lake Superior in accordance with the Treaty, Commission Orders, and an adopted regulation plan.

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