International Joint Commission (IJC)
More than a century of cooperation protecting shared waters

Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement Reports

16th Biennial Report

In the first three versions of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, Article VII required the IJC to report biennially to the federal, state and provincial governments concerning progress towards achieving Agreement objectives, and the effectiveness of programs and other measures undertaken pursuant to it. It also directed the IJC to provide advice and recommendations on any matter related to the quality of the boundary waters of the Great Lakes system.

In the 2012 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, these responsibilities remain and are expanded to provide a review of the Progress Report of the Parties, a new requirement committed to by both countries in the latest Agreement. In consultation with its advisory boards, the IJC is also required to provide:

-- a summary of public input on the Progress Report of the Parties

-- an assessment of the extent to which programs and other measures are achieving the General and Specific Objective of the Agreement,

-- consideration of the most recent State of the Lakes report, and

-- other advice and recommendations, as appropriate.

The 2012 Agreement also stipulates that the IJC provides its assessment report every three years, instead of every two, after it and the public receives and reviews the Progress Report of the Parties.

The IJC’s first Triennial Assessment of Progress report was released in November 2017, as well as a Highlights report, a Technical Appendix, and a Summary of Public Comment Appendix.

First Triennial Assessment of Progress