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Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement - 2012

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PROTOCOL AMENDING THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN
CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
ON GREAT LAKES WATER QUALITY, 1978,
AS AMENDED ON OCTOBER 16, 1983 AND ON NOVEMBER 18, 1987
THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA AND
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (the "Parties"),

RECOGNIZING that the Agreement between Canada and the United States of America on Great Lakes Water Quality,1978, done at Ottawa on 22 November 1978, as amended on October 16, 1983 and on November 18, 1987 (the "1978 Agreement") and its predecessor, the Agreement between Canada and the United States of America on Great Lakes Water Quality, done at Ottawa on 15 April 1972, provide a vital framework for binational consultation and cooperative action to restore, protect and enhance the water quality of the Great Lakes to promote the ecological health of the Great Lakes basin;

REAFFIRMING their commitment to achieve the goals and objectives of the 1978 Agreement, as amended on 16 October, 1983 and 18 November, 1987, as well as those of its 1972 predecessor agreement;

RECOGNIZING the need to update and strengthen the 1978 Agreement to address current impacts on the quality of the Waters of the Great Lakes, and anticipate and prevent emerging threats to the quality of the Waters of the Great Lakes,

HAVE AGREED as follows:

ARTICLE 1

This Protocol shall be referred to as the Great Lakes Water Quality Protocol of 2012.

ARTICLE 2

The title, preamble, article and annexes of the 1978 Agreement are amended to read as set forth in the Appendix to this Protocol.

ARTICLE 3

This Protocol shall enter into force on the date of the last notification in an Exchange of Notes by the Parties indicating that each Party has completed its domestic processes for approval.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned, being duly authorized by their respective Governments, have signed this Protocol.

DONE at                                            , this                          day of                                      2012, in duplicate in the English and French languages, each text being equally authentic. 

FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA

FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

APPENDIX TO THE

PROTOCOL AMENDING THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ON GREAT LAKES WATER QUALITY, 1978, AS AMENDED

ON OCTOBER 16, 1983 AND ON NOVEMBER 18, 1987

AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ON GREAT LAKES WATER QUALITY, 2012

THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (the Parties),

ACKNOWLEDGING the vital importance of the Great Lakes to the social and economic well-being of both countries, the close connection between quality of the Waters of the Great Lakes and the environment and human health, as well as the need to address the risks to human health posed by environmental degradation;

REAFFIRMING their determination to protect, restore, and enhance water quality of the Waters of the Great Lakes and their intention to prevent further pollution and degradation of the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem;

REAFFIRMING, in a spirit of friendship and cooperation, the rights and obligations of both countries under the Treaty relating to the Boundary Waters and Questions arising along the Boundary between Canada, and the United States done at Washington on 11 January 1909 (Boundary Waters Treaty) and, in particular, the obligation not to pollute boundary waters;

EMPHASIZING the need to strengthen efforts to address new and continuing threats to the quality of the Waters of the Great Lakes, including aquatic invasive species, nutrients, chemical substances, discharge from vessels, the climate change impacts, and the loss of habitats and species;

ACKNOWLEDGING that pollutants may enter the Waters of the Great Lakes from air, surface water, groundwater, sediment, runoff from non-point sources, direct discharges and other sources;

RECOGNIZING that restoration and enhancement of the Waters of the Great Lakes cannot be achieved by addressing individual threats in isolation, but rather depend upon the application of an ecosystem approach to the management of water quality that addresses individually and cumulatively all sources of stress to the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem;

RECOGNIZING that nearshore areas must be restored and protected because they are the major source of drinking water for communities within the basin, are where most human commerce and recreation occurs, and are the critical ecological link between watersheds and the open waters of the Great Lakes;

ACKNOWLEDGING that the quality of the Waters of the Great Lakes may affect the quality of the waters of the St. Lawrence River downstream of the international boundary;

CONCLUDING that the best means to preserve the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem and to improve the quality of the Waters of the Great Lakes is to adopt common objectives, develop and implement cooperative programs and other compatible measures, and assign special responsibilities and functions to the International Joint Commission;

RECOGNIZING that, while the Parties are responsible for decision-making under this Agreement, the involvement and participation of State and Provincial Governments, Tribal Governments, First Nations, Métis, Municipal Governments, watershed management agencies, local public agencies, and the Public are essential to achieve the objectives of this Agreement;

DETERMINED to improve management processes for the implementation of measures necessary to achieve the objectives of this Agreement,

HAVE AGREED as follows:

ARTICLE 1

Definitions

In this Agreement:

(a)  Boundary Waters Treaty; means the Treaty relating to the Boundary Waters and Questions arising along the Boundary between Canada and the United States, done at Washington on 11 January 1909;

(b)  General Objectives; means broad descriptions of water quality conditions consistent with the protection of the level of environmental quality which the Parties desire to secure and which will provide a basis for overall water management guidance;

(c)  Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem; means the interacting components of air, land, water and living organisms, including humans, and all of the streams, rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water, including groundwater, that are in the drainage basin of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River at the international boundary or upstream from the point at which this river becomes the international boundary between Canada and the United States;

(d)  International Joint Commission; means the International Joint Commission established by the Boundary Waters Treaty;

(e)  Municipal Government means a local government created by a Province or State situated within the Great Lakes basin;

(f)  Public; means individuals and organizations such as public interest groups, researchers and research institutions, and businesses and other non-governmental entities;

(g)  State and Provincial Governments; means the Governments of the States of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Wisconsin, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Government of the Province of Ontario;

(h)  Tribal Government; means the government of a tribe recognized by either the Government of Canada or the Government of the United States situated within the Great Lakes basin;

(i)  Tributary Waters; means surface waters that flow directly or indirectly into the Waters of the Great Lakes;

(j)  Waters of the Great Lakes; means the waters of Lakes Superior, Huron, Michigan, Erie and Ontario and the connecting river systems of St. Marys, St. Clair including Lake St. Clair, Detroit, Niagara and St. Lawrence at the international boundary or upstream from the point at which this river becomes the international boundary between Canada and the United States, including all open and nearshore waters.

ARTICLE 2

Purpose, Principles and Approaches

PURPOSE

1.  The purpose of this Agreement is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Waters of the Great Lakes. To achieve this purpose, the Parties agree to maximize their efforts to:

     (a)  cooperate and collaborate;

     (b)  develop programs, practices and technology necessary for a better understanding of the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem; and

     (c)  eliminate or reduce, to the maximum extent practicable, environmental threats to the Waters of the Great Lakes.

2.  The Parties, recognizing the inherent natural value of the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem, are guided by a shared vision of a healthy and prosperous Great Lakes region in which the Waters of the Great Lakes, through sound management, use and enjoyment, will benefit present and future generations of Canadians and Americans.

3.  The Parties recognize that it is necessary to take action to resolve existing environmental problems, as well as to anticipate and prevent environmental problems, by implementing measures that are sufficiently protective to achieve the purpose of this Agreement.

PRINCIPLES AND APPROACHES

4.  The Parties shall be guided by the following principles and approaches in order to achieve the purpose of this Agreement:

     (a)  accountability – establishing clear objectives, regular reporting made available to the Public on progress, and transparently evaluating the effectiveness of work undertaken to achieve the objectives of this Agreement;

     (b)  adaptive management – implementing a systematic process by which the Parties assess effectiveness of actions and adjust future actions to achieve the objectives of this Agreement, as outcomes and ecosystem processes become better understood;

     (c)  adequate treatment – treating wastewater without relying on flow augmentation to achieve applicable water quality standards;

     (d)  anti-degradation – implementing all reasonable and practicable measures to maintain or improve the existing water quality in the areas of the Waters of the Great Lakes that meet or exceed the General Objectives or Specific Objectives of this Agreement, as well as in areas that have outstanding natural resource value;

     (e)  coordination – developing and implementing coordinated planning processes and best management practices by the Parties, as well as among State and Provincial Governments, Tribal Governments, First Nations, Métis, Municipal Governments, watershed management agencies, and local public agencies;

     (f)  ecosystem approach – taking management actions that integrate the interacting components of air, land, water, and living organisms, including humans;

     (g)  innovation – considering and applying advanced and environmentally- friendly ideas, methods and efforts;

     (h)  "polluter pays" – incorporating the "polluter pays" principle, as set forth in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, "that the polluter should, in principle, bear the cost of pollution;"

     (i)  precaution – incorporating the precautionary approach, as set forth in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, the Parties intend that, "Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation;"

     (j)  prevention – anticipating and preventing pollution and other threats to the quality of the Waters of the Great Lakes to reduce overall risks to the environment and human health;

     (k)  Public engagement – incorporating Public opinion and advice, as appropriate, and providing information and opportunities for the Public to participate in activities that contribute to the achievement of the objectives of this Agreement;

     (l)  science-based management – implementing management decisions, policies and programs that are based on best available science, research and knowledge, as well as traditional ecological knowledge, when available;

     (m)  sustainability – considering social, economic and environmental factors and incorporating a multi-generational standard of care to address current needs, while enhancing the ability of future generations to meet their needs; 

     (n)  tributary management – restoring and maintaining surface waters that flow into and impact the quality of the Waters of the Great Lakes;

     (o)  virtual elimination – adopting the principle of virtual elimination for elimination of releases of chemicals of mutual concern, as appropriate; and

     (p)  zero discharge – adopting the philosophy of zero discharge for control of releases of chemicals of mutual concern, as appropriate.

ARTICLE 3

General and Specific Objectives

1.  The Parties, in achieving the purpose of this Agreement, shall work to attain the following General and Specific Objectives, and are guided by the Principles and Approaches identified in Article 2:

 (a)       GENERAL OBJECTIVES

The Parties adopt the following General Objectives. The Waters of the Great Lakes should:

     (i)  be a source of safe, high-quality drinking water;

     (ii)  allow for swimming and other recreational use, unrestricted by environmental quality concerns;

     (iii)  allow for human consumption of fish and wildlife unrestricted by concerns due to harmful pollutants; 

     (iv)  be free from pollutants in quantities or concentrations that could be harmful to human health, wildlife, or aquatic organisms, through direct exposure or indirect exposure through the food chain;

     (v)  support healthy and productive wetlands and other habitats to sustain resilient populations of native species;

     (vi)  be free from nutrients that directly or indirectly enter the water as a result of human activity, in amounts that promote growth of algae and cyanobacteria that interfere with aquatic ecosystem health, or human use of the ecosystem;

     (vii)  be free from the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species and free from the introduction and spread of terrestrial invasive species that adversely impact the quality of the Waters of the Great Lakes;

     (viii)  be free from the harmful impact of contaminated groundwater; and

     (ix)  be free from other substances, materials or conditions that may negatively impact the chemical, physical or biological integrity of the Waters of the Great Lakes;

(b)       SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES

The Parties, to help achieve the General Objectives, shall, in cooperation and consultation with State and Provincial Governments, Tribal Governments, First Nations, Métis, Municipal Governments, watershed management agencies, other local public agencies, downstream jurisdictions, and the Public, identify and work to attain Specific Objectives for the Waters of the Great Lakes, including:

(i)         LAKE ECOSYSTEM OBJECTIVES

Lake Ecosystem Objectives shall be established for each Great Lake, including its connecting river systems, that:

     (A)  are binational, except for Lake Michigan, where the Government of the United States shall have sole responsibility;

     (B)  specify interim or long term ecological conditions necessary to achieve the General Objectives of this Agreement;

     (C)  may be narrative or numeric in nature;

     (D)  will be developed in recognition of the complexities of large, dynamic ecosystems; and

     (E)  may be developed for temperature, pH, total dissolved solids, dissolved oxygen, settleable, and suspended solids, light transmission, and other physical parameters; and levels of plankton, benthos, microbial organisms, aquatic plants, fish or other biota; or other parameters, as appropriate;

(ii)        SUBSTANCE OBJECTIVES

Substance Objectives are numeric targets that may be established binationally by the Parties, except where specific to Lake Michigan, to further direct actions to manage the level of a substance or combination of substances to reduce threats to human health and the environment in the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem. The Parties shall identify Substance Objectives, where deemed essential to achieve the General Objectives and Lake Ecosystem Objectives of this Agreement.

The Parties shall develop the Substance Objectives:

     (A)  using approaches appropriate to the substance or combination of substances;

     (B)  using binational processes established by the Parties, domestic programs implemented by the Parties, or programs developed and implemented by other entities having relevant jurisdiction coordinated binationally as appropriate.

IMPLEMENTATION

2.  The Parties shall progress toward the attainment of these General Objectives, Lake Ecosystem Objectives and Substance Objectives through their respective domestic programs. The Parties shall use best efforts to ensure that water quality standards and other regulatory requirements of the Parties, State and Provincial Governments, Tribal Governments, First Nations, Métis, Municipal Governments, watershed management agencies, and other local public agencies are consistent with all of these objectives. Objectives developed jointly by the Parties do not preclude either Party from establishing more stringent domestic requirements.

MONITORING

3.  The Parties shall monitor environmental conditions so that the Parties may determine the extent to which General Objectives, Lake Ecosystem Objectives and Substance Objectives are being achieved.

REPORTING

4.  The Parties shall publicly report, in the Progress Report of the Parties, State of the Great Lakes Report and Lakewide Action and Management Plans, on the progress in achieving the General Objectives, Lake Ecosystem Objectives and Substance Objectives.

REVIEW

5.  The Parties shall periodically review the Lake Ecosystem Objectives and Substance Objectives and revise them if appropriate.

6.  The International Joint Commission may make recommendations to the Parties, in accordance with Article 7, about how to develop or achieve the Lake Ecosystem Objectives and Substance Objectives.

ARTICLE 4

Implementation

1.  The Parties, in cooperation and consultation with State and Provincial Governments, Tribal Governments, First Nations, Métis, Municipal Governments, watershed management agencies, other local public agencies, and the Public, shall develop and implement programs and other measures:

     (a)  to fulfill the purpose of this Agreement, in accordance with the Principles and Approaches set forth in Article 2; and

     (b)  to achieve the General and Specific Objectives set forth in Article 3.

2.  These programs and other measures shall include, but are not limited to:

     (a)  pollution abatement, control, and prevention programs for:

          (i)  municipal sources, including urban drainage;

          (ii)  industrial sources;

          (iii)  agriculture, forestry, and other land use;

          (iv)  contaminated sediments, and dredging activities;

          (v)  onshore and offshore facilities, including the prevention of discharge of harmful quantities of oil and hazardous polluting substances;

          (vi)  sources of radioactive materials; and

          (vii)  other environmental priorities that may be identified by the Parties;

     (b)  aquatic invasive species programs and other measures to:

          (i)  prevent the introduction of aquatic invasive species;

          (ii)  control or reduce the spread of existing aquatic invasive species; and

          (iii)  eradicate, when feasible, existing aquatic invasive species;

     (c)  conservation programs to:

          (i)  restore and protect habitat; and

          (ii)  recover and protect species;

     (d)  enforcement actions and other measures to ensure the effectiveness of the programs described in (a), (b) and (c); and

     (e)  research and monitoring programs to support the commitments made in this Agreement.

3.  The Parties commit themselves, in the implementation of this Agreement, to seek:

     (a)  the appropriation of funds;

     (b)  the appropriation of funds required by the International Joint Commission to carry out its responsibilities effectively;

     (c)  the enactment of any legislation that may be necessary to implement programs and other measures developed pursuant to Article 4;

     (d)  the cooperation of State and Provincial Governments, Tribal Governments, First Nations, Métis, Municipal Governments, watershed management agencies, and other local public agencies in all pertinent matters;

     (e)  Public input and advice on all pertinent matters, as appropriate; and

     (f)  input and advice from downstream jurisdictions on matters relating to this Agreement, as appropriate.

4.  The Parties’ policy is to ensure that a combination of local, state, provincial, and federal participation provide financial assistance to construct and improve publicly owned waste treatment works.

5.  The Parties’ respective obligations are subject to the appropriation of funds in accordance with their respective constitutional procedures.

ARTICLE 5

Consultation, Management and Review

1.  Recognizing the importance of Public input and advice, the Parties shall convene, with the Commission, a Great Lakes Public Forum within one year of entry into force of this Agreement, and every three years after the first Forum. The Great Lakes Public Forum will provide an opportunity for:

     (a)  the Parties to discuss and receive Public comments on the state of the lakes and binational priorities for science and action to inform future priorities and actions; and

     (b)  the Commission to discuss and receive Public input on the Progress Report of the Parties.

2.  The Parties hereby establish a Great Lakes Executive Committee to help coordinate, implement, review and report on programs, practices and measures undertaken to achieve the purpose of this Agreement:

     (a)  the Parties shall co-chair the Great Lakes Executive Committee and invite representatives from Federal Governments, State and Provincial Governments, Tribal Governments, First Nations, Métis, Municipal Governments, watershed management agencies, and other local public agencies;

     (b)  the Parties shall convene the Great Lakes Executive Committee at least twice each year, and shall appoint Annex-specific sub-committees to the Great Lakes Executive Committee, as required, to assist in the implementation of this Agreement;

     (c)  the Parties shall establish, in consultation with the Great Lakes Executive Committee, binational priorities for science and action to address current and future threats to the quality of the Water of the Great Lakes, not later than six months after each Great Lakes Public Forum. The priorities shall be established based on an evaluation of the state of the Great Lakes and input received during the Great Lakes Public Forum and recommendations of the Commission;

     (d)  the Parties shall establish priorities, in consultation with the Great Lakes Executive Committee, for each Annex sub-committee to ensure the effective implementation of this Agreement. The Parties shall regularly update those priorities; and

     (e)  the Parties shall prepare, in consultation with the Great Lakes Executive Committee, a binational Progress Report of the Parties to document actions relating to this Agreement, taken domestically and binationally. The first such report shall be provided to the Public and the Commission before the second Great Lakes Public Forum, and subsequent reports shall be provided before each subsequent Great Lakes Public Forum.

 3.  To further assist in the implementation of this Agreement, the Parties shall convene a Great Lakes Summit in conjunction with the Great Lakes Public Forum to promote coordination among the Parties, the Commission and other binational and international governmental organizations, and increase their effectiveness in managing the resources of the Great Lakes.

4.  The Parties shall review each Assessment of Progress Report prepared by the Commission in accordance with Article 7(1)(k), and consult with each other on the recommendations contained in the report, and consider such action as may be appropriate. The Parties may transmit any comments to the Commission within six months of receipt of the Assessment of Progress Report.

5.  Following every third triennial Assessment of Progress Report of the Commission, the Parties shall review the operation and effectiveness of this Agreement. The Parties shall determine the scope and nature of the review taking into account the views of State and Provincial Governments, Tribal Governments, First Nations, Métis, Municipal Governments, watershed management agencies, other local public agencies, downstream jurisdictions, and the Public.

6.  Each Party shall make available to the other Party, at its request, any data or other information in its control relating to the quality of the Waters of the Great Lakes. The disclosure of this information is subject to national security considerations, information-sharing laws, privacy laws, regulations, and policies.

ARTICLE 6

Notification and Response

The Parties acknowledge the importance of anticipating, preventing and responding to threats to the Waters of the Great Lakes. The Parties commit to the following notification and response process:

     (a)  if a Party becomes aware of a pollution incident, or the imminent threat of a pollution incident, that could be of joint concern to both of the Parties, it shall notify the other Party in accordance with the requirements set out in the Canada-United States Joint Inland Pollution Contingency Plan and the Canada-United States Joint Marine Pollution Contingency Plan. A pollution incident is a release of any pollutant of a magnitude that causes or may cause damage to the Waters of the Great Lakes or may constitute a threat to public safety, security, health, welfare, or property;

     (b)  the Parties shall continue to implement the CANUSLAK Annex of the Canada-United States Joint Marine Pollution Contingency Plan, as amended, or any successor instrument, to provide a coordinated binational approach for planning and preparedness in response to pollution incidents;

     (c)  the Parties shall notify each other, through the Great Lakes Executive Committee, of planned activities that could lead to a pollution incident or that could have a significant cumulative impact on the Waters of the Great Lakes, such as:    

          (i)  the storage and transfer of nuclear waste or radioactive materials;

          (ii)  mining and mining related activities;

          (iii)  oil and gas pipelines;

          (iv)  oil and gas drilling;

          (v)  refineries; power plants;

          (vi)  nuclear facilities;

          (vii) hazardous waste storage;

          (viii)  treatment or disposal facilities; and

          (ix)  other categories of activities identified by the Parties.

ARTICLE 7

The International Joint Commission

 1. The Parties agree that, pursuant to Article IX of the Boundary Waters Treaty, the Commission shall have the following responsibilities:

     (a)  analyzing and disseminating data and information obtained from the Parties, State and Provincial Governments, Tribal Governments, First Nations, Métis, Municipal Governments, watershed management agencies, other local public agencies, and the Public, relating to the quality of the Waters of the Great Lakes and to the pollution that enters the boundary waters from tributary waters and other sources. The Commission shall have authority to verify independently such data and information through tests or other means that it deems appropriate, in accordance with the Boundary Waters Treaty and with applicable laws;

     (b)  analyzing and disseminating data and information about the General Objectives, Lake Ecosystem Objectives and Substance Objectives, and about the operation and effectiveness of the programs and other measures established pursuant to this Agreement;

     (c)  tendering advice and recommendations to the Parties on the following:

          (i)  the social, economic and environmental aspects of current and emerging issues related to the quality of the Waters of the Great Lakes, including specific recommendations concerning the revision of the General Objectives, Lake Ecosystem Objectives and Substance Objectives, legislation, standards and other regulatory requirements, programs, and other measures, and intergovernmental agreements relating to the quality of these waters;

          (ii)  matters covered under the Annexes to this Agreement;

          (iii)  approaches and options that the Parties may consider to improve effectiveness in achieving the purpose and objectives of this Agreement; and

          (iv)  research and monitoring of the Waters of the Great Lakes, including recommendations for specific research and monitoring priorities;

     (d)  providing assistance as requested by the Parties in the coordination of the Parties’ joint activities;

     (e)  assisting in and advising on scientific matters related to the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem, including:

          (i)  identifying objectives for scientific activities; and

          (ii)  tendering scientific advice and recommendations to the Parties and to State and Provincial Governments, Tribal Governments, First Nations, Métis, Municipal Governments, watershed management agencies, other local public agencies, and the Public;

     (f)  investigating any subjects related to the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem that the Parties may refer to the Commission;

     (g)  consulting on a regular basis with the Public about issues related to the quality of the Waters of the Great Lakes, and about options for restoring and protecting these waters, while providing the Public with the opportunity to raise concerns, and tender advice and recommendations to the Commission and the Parties;

     (h)  engaging with the Public to increase awareness of the inherent value of the Waters of the Great Lakes, of the issues related to the quality of these waters, and the benefit of taking individual and collective action to restore and protect these waters;

     (i)  ensuring liaison and coordination among the institutions established under Article 8 and other institutions within the Commission’s purview, such as Boards responsible to oversee Great Lakes water levels and air pollution matters;

     (j)  coordinating with other binational or international institutions that address concerns relating to the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem;

     (k)  providing to the Parties, in consultation with the Boards established under Article 8, a triennial "Assessment of Progress Report" that includes:

          (i)  a review of the Progress Report of the Parties;

          (ii)  a summary of Public input on the Progress Report of the Parties;

          (iii) an assessment of the extent to which programs and other measures are achieving the General and Specific Objectives of this Agreement;

          (iv)  consideration of the most recent State of the Lakes Report; and

          (v)  other advice and recommendations, as appropriate;

     (l)  providing to the Parties, at any time, special reports concerning any problem relating to the quality of the Waters of the Great Lakes;

     (m)  submitting to the Parties, for their review and approval, an annual budget of anticipated expenses for carrying out its responsibilities under this Agreement. Each Party shall seek funds to pay half of the approved annual budget. A Party shall not be obliged to pay a larger amount than the other Party;

     (n)  providing any requested data or information, furnished to the Commission in accordance with this Article, to the Parties or State and Provincial Governments, Tribal Governments, First Nations, Métis, Municipal Governments, watershed management agencies, other local public agencies, downstream jurisdictions, or the Public; and

     (o)  publishing any report, statement, or other document prepared in the discharge the Commission’s functions under this Agreement.

2.  A Party shall provide any available data or other information relating to the quality of the Waters of the Great Lakes if it is requested by the Commission. The Party shall disclose the information, subject to national security considerations, information-sharing laws, and privacy laws, regulations, and policies.

3.  When discharging its responsibilities under this Agreement, the Commission may exercise all of the powers conferred to it by the Boundary Waters Treaty and by any legislation passed pursuant thereto, including the power to conduct public hearings and to compel the testimony of witnesses, and the production of documents.

4.  The Parties shall enable the Commission to make available to the Public all advice and recommendations made by the Commission to the Parties pursuant to this Article.

5.  In addition to the responsibilities outlined in this Article, the Commission has specific roles and responsibilities pursuant to Annex 1 – Areas of Concern; Annex 2 – Lakewide Management; Annex 5 – Discharges from Vessels; and Annex 10 – Science, of this Agreement.

6.  Notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement, the Parties shall ensure that the Commission does not release any information that is protected or regulated under applicable law, unless it has consent of the owner.

ARTICLE 8

Commission Boards and Regional Office

1.  The Parties hereby direct the Commission to establish a Great Lakes Water Quality Board, a Great Lakes Science Advisory Board, and a Great Lakes Regional Office to assist in exercising the powers and responsibilities assigned to it under this Agreement.

2.  The Great Lakes Water Quality Board shall be the principal advisor to the Commission. The Great Lakes Water Quality Board shall be composed of an equal number of members from Canada and the United States. The Great Lakes Water Quality Board shall include representatives from the Parties and State and Provincial Governments and also may include representatives from Tribal Governments, First Nations, Métis, Municipal Governments, watershed management agencies, other local public agencies, downstream jurisdictions, and the Public.

3.  The Great Lakes Water Quality Board shall assist the Commission by:

     (a)  reviewing and assessing progress of the Parties in implementation of this Agreement;

     (b)  identifying emerging issues and recommending strategies and approaches for preventing and resolving the complex challenges facing the Great Lakes; and

     (c)  providing advice on the role of relevant jurisdictions to implement these strategies and approaches.

4.  The Great Lakes Science Advisory Board shall provide advice on research to the Commission and to the Great Lakes Water Quality Board. The Great Lakes Science Advisory Board shall also provide advice on scientific matters referred to it by the Commission, or by the Great Lakes Water Quality Board, in consultation with the Commission. The Great Lakes Science Advisory Board shall consist of managers of Great Lakes research programs and recognized experts on Great Lakes water quality problems and related matters and include representatives from the Parties and State and Provincial Governments.

5.  The Commission shall appoint the members of the Great Lakes Water Quality Board and the Great Lakes Science Advisory Board subject to consultation with the appropriate government or governments concerned.

6.  The Parties instruct the Commission to prepare the detailed functions of the Boards for review and approval by the Parties.

7.  The Parties agree that the Great Lakes Regional Office of the Commission shall:

     (a)  provide administrative support and technical assistance to the Great Lakes Water Quality Board and the Great Lakes Science Advisory Board and their sub-organizations, to assist the Boards in discharging effectively the responsibilities, duties and functions assigned to them;

     (b)  provide public notice and outreach for the activities, including public hearings, undertaken by the Commission and its Boards;

     (c)  provide any other assistance to the Commission, as required to fulfill the Commission’s responsibilities under this Agreement; and

     (d)  be managed by a Director appointed by the Commission in consultation with the Parties and with the co-chairs of the Boards. The position of Director shall alternate between a Canadian citizen and a United States citizen. Consistent with the responsibilities assigned to the Commission, and under the supervision of the Commission, the Director shall be responsible for:

          (i)  managing the Great Lakes Regional Office and its staff in the carrying out of the functions described herein; and

          (ii)  conducting such activities in support of the Boards as directed by the Boards’ co-chairs in consultation with the Commission.

ARTICLE 9 

Existing Rights and Obligations

This Agreement shall not be interpreted to diminish the Parties’ rights or obligations under the Boundary Waters Treaty.

ARTICLE 10  

Integration Clause

The Annexes form an integral part of this Agreement.

ARTICLE 11 

Amendment

1.  This Agreement and its Annexes may be amended by written agreement of the Parties.

2.  The Parties shall promptly advise the International Joint Commission of any amendment to this Agreement and its Annexes.

3.  An amendment shall enter into force on the date of the last notification in an Exchange of Notes between the Parties indicating that each Party has completed its domestic processes for entry into force.

ARTICLE 12

Entry into Force and Termination

1.  This Agreement shall enter into force upon signature by the duly authorized representatives of the Parties.

2.  This Agreement will remain in force until terminated by a Party through written notification delivered to the other Party through diplomatic channels.

ARTICLE 13

Supersession

This Agreement supersedes the Agreement between Canada and the United States of America on Great Lakes Water Quality, done at Ottawa on 15 April 1972.