Report of the Great Lakes Water Quality Board
REVIEW OF U.S. AND CANADIAN DELISTING GUIDELINES
Adherence or Departure of both Approaches to the
Agreement, particularly Annex 2. The WQB finds that
both approaches are not inconsistent with the require-
n December 6, 2001 the U.S. Policy Committee
ments of the Agreement.
adopted the guidance, Restoring United States
Areas of Concern: Delisting Principles and
Guidelines. In response to a request from the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, the IJC asked the WQB to
review the document and corresponding Canadian
The U.S. and the Ontario Guidance both articulate sound
Specifically, the IJC asked the WQB to review the ap-
principles for delisting beneficial use impairments.
proaches of each Party and provide comment on the:
However, the Ontario Guidance states that Achievement of
delisting targets can also be judged against the inherent
degree of consistency between the approaches of the
philosophies and principles of RAPs (i.e. sustainability,
United States and Canada; and
ecosystem approach, pollution prevention, public involve-
degree of adherence or departure of both these
ment). The WQB believes that the focus of the delisting
approaches to the Agreement, particularly Annex 2.
principles should be specifically related to the use impair-
ments in Annex 2 and not to such additional factors as
The WQB based its review on three documents:
sustainability or the ecosystem approach which, while
important, add an unnecessary degree of complexity. The
Restoring United States Areas of Concern: Delisting
Parties should focus on fulfilling their Annex 2 commit-
Principles and Guidelines. Adopted by the United
ments to restore Areas of Concern.
States Policy Committee, December 6, 2001. Available
on the web at http://www.epa.gov/glnpo/aoc/
Scope and Focus
delist.html . (U.S. Guidance)
Recognizing Areas of Concern That Have Completed
The U.S. Guidance acknowledges the question of how to
RAP Implementation. Approved January 1999 by the
accelerate the Remedial Action Plan process and restoring
Canada Ontario Agreement Review Committee. (COA
beneficial uses. The Canadian and the U.S. documents
focus on a delisting process but, without active progress,
A Guide to Producers, Users and Reviewers of Stage 2
development of delisting criteria is an academic exercise.
and Stage 3 Reports. Excerpts from an Ontario
The WQB expresses its desire for re-energizing the Reme-
manual designed for those who write and review Stage
dial Action Plan process, leading to action that will restore
2 and Stage 3 Remedial Action Plan documents.
beneficial uses in Areas of Concern.
Although the U.S. and the Canadian documents focus on
The WQB presented the following findings and advice to
delisting, the WQB recognizes that they were prepared for
the IJC on February 6, 2002. Also presented below is the
somewhat different purposes. The U.S. Guidance focuses
IJCs response to this advice.
on a process that leads to ecosystem response and subse-
quent delisting of an Areas of Concern, with allowance for
designating an Areas of Concern as being in a recovery
Findings of the Great Lakes Water Quality
stage as an intermediate step in that process.
The two Canadian documents focus on a process through
Consistency between the Approaches of the United
which, upon completion of implementation of remedial
States and Canada. The WQB finds that the approaches
actions, an Area of Concern can be reclassified as an Area of
taken by Canada and the United States are reasonably
Recovery, providing a basis to celebrate when implementa-
consistent and functionally equivalent.
tion is complete. The end point in the Canadian docu-