6.1.1 Special Report on Areas of Concern
6.1.2 Status Assessments
Detroit River AOC
Hamilton Harbour AOC
6.1.3 Conference on Creative Funding
6.1.4 Partnerships for Progress Workshop
6.1.5 Lakewide Management Plans
6.1.6 References
6.4.1 Nuclear Task Force Mandate
What Is an Inventory of Radionuclides?
Historical Perspective
6.4.2 Sources of Radioactivity
Emissions from Nuclear Power Plants
Emissions from Secondary Sources in the Great Lakes Basin
6.4.3 Environmental Monitoring Data from Nuclear Facilities
6.4.4 Inventories for Biological Compartments
6.4.5 Conclusions
Adequacy of Monitoring
Need for Reassessment of Environmental Monitoring of Nuclear Facilities to Support the Agreement
Harmonization of Monitoring and Data Reporting
Biological Transfer Factors for Lake Systems
Nuclides of Concern
6.4.6 Membership


12 Summary of Direct Economic Impact of Substituting an Intensive Recycling System for the Incineration of Municipal Solid Waste in the Great Lakes Region

13 Desired Outcomes for the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem

14 Nuclear Power Plant Reactors in the Great Lakes Basin


6.1.1 Special Report on Areas of Concern

Dramatic changes in funding levels for Area of Concern (AOC) planning and implementation activities have occurred within the last few years. Reductions in funding have resulted in layoffs or reduced staffing levels, reduced agency support for public consultation activities and the need or desire to forge private/public partnerships and innovative approaches to addressing the unmet requirements of AOC restoration. Because of these issues and the International Joint Commission's (IJC) role in assisting implementation of remedial action plans (RAPs), IJC is preparing a special report dealing with restoration activities in AOCs.

Despite funding limitations, there are numerous success stories regarding AOCs. The special report is focussing on several of these and promoting the concept of certain AOC efforts serving as "lighthouses" to guide other RAP efforts in positive directions. Sharing information and successful techniques among various AOCs has become even more important as financial resources become more scarce.

6.1.2 Status Assessments

In April 1996, IJC adopted a new approach to carrying out its activities under Annex 2 of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. In order to more effectively fulfill its roles of reviewing progress and assisting in implementing the Agreement, it is proactively evaluating progress under Annex 2, rather than waiting for RAPs and lakewide management plans (LaMPs) to be submitted for review and comment. This evaluation activity, or status assessment, is being undertaken for selected AOCs and, in the case of LaMPs, selected open lake waters.

Since status assessments focus on a subset of AOCs and open lake waters, site selection criteria are utilized to maximize the benefits of the activity. The site selection process considers:

Detroit River AOC

The need for effective working partnerships in the Detroit River AOC was apparent to IJC prior to the formal initiation of the status assessment. Accordingly, in June 1996, IJC in cooperation with the Canadian Consulate General in Detroit and the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments sponsored a Partnerships for Progress (Becker and Kirschner, 1996) workshop in Detroit, Michigan. A summary of the workshop is provided in Chapter 6.4.

The status assessment was begun in November 1996. IJC will present its findings and recommendations in a separate report, scheduled for release in fall 1997.

Hamilton Harbour AOC

IJC began the status assessment for Hamilton Harbour on May 22, 1997. The initial site visit involved a tour of the AOC and attendance at the annual meeting of the Bay Area Restoration Council (BARC). IJC's Science Advisory Board (SAB) assisted in this status assessment by examining scientific issues related to the remediation effort. A summary of SAB's review is provided in its chapter of this report.

Preliminary observations from the Hamilton Harbour site visit show this AOC restoration effort is especially effective at consulting the public regarding restoration activities and involving local elected officials. BARC also has gained local corporate support for various implementation activities. BARC is hopeful that this type of financial support will allow it to better cope with cutbacks in agency support.

6.1.3 Conference on Creative Funding

On July 23-25, 1996, IJC in cooperation with The Keland Endowment Fund of The Johnson Foundation convened a conference on Funding Strategies for Restoration of Areas of Concern in the Great Lakes Basin (IJC 1996a). The conference brought together 40 agency and community representatives including: provincial, state, federal and tribal government officials; nongovernmental organizations; public advisory group members; and IJC personnel involved in developing, implementing and monitoring restoration activities in AOCs throughout the Great Lakes basin. The principal purpose of the conference was to evaluate opportunities for successful alternative funding of remedial action planning and implementation efforts. Presentations ranged from a professional fundraiser to an explanation of tribal partnering with environmentalists and farmers. Numerous strategies for funding activities and coping with government funding cutbacks were detailed in presentations and facilitated discussion. Strategies include:

Through consideration of these and other strategies, it is apparent that few, if any, AOC efforts are near their full potential in regard to maximizing local financial support for restoration efforts. While certain capacity-building exercises are underway, the ability of local volunteer groups or local government to accept funding responsibility from state, provincial or federal government remains uncertain. Accordingly, as resources allow, IJC will continue assisting in capacity-building initiatives for RAP personnel and advisory groups.

6.1.4 Partnerships for Progress Workshop

On June 5, 1996, the Canadian consulate general in Detroit, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments and IJC conducted a workshop regarding the utility of partnerships in Detroit, Michigan. The primary purpose of the workshop was to highlight successful partnerships so that the potential utility of a Detroit River AOC partnership could be examined.

Presentations regarding partnerships were made by the Canadian consul general, the mayors of Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario, representatives of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, the Northwest Michigan Resource Conservation and Development Council, BASF Corporation, and the city of Wyandotte, Michigan.

Examples of partnerships and concepts that were discussed include:

6.1.5 Lakewide Management Plans

Lakewide Management Plans (LaMPs) for the open waters of lakes Erie, Michigan, Ontario and Superior are currently under development. The goal of LaMPs is to restore beneficial uses in open waters of each lake. Implementation of LaMPs is to result in reduced loadings of critical pollutants.

The Stage 1 (problem identification) LaMP for Lake Superior was submitted to IJC for review and comment in September 1995. IJC and individual reviewers conducted a review meeting in February 1996 with representatives of the Parties, jurisdictions and the Lake Superior Forum. In November 1996, IJC transmitted its comments to the Parties and jurisdictions (IJC 1996b).

The major issues addressed include:

IJC has initiated efforts to assist the Parties in filling data gaps related to atmospheric loadings and to the human health threat posed by critical pollutants. IJC assistance has been in the form of a February 26, 1997 workshop, Understanding the Air Deposition Pathway and Examining a Potential Approach Toward the Virtual Elimination of Dioxin, and a September 19, 1997 workshop on human health and aquatic life concerns.

Major discussion topics at the February 1997 workshop include:

A principal focus of the workshop was discussion regarding sources and possible pollution prevention efforts related to "dioxin," which designates (for this discussion) the 210 polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans. As noted above, IJC's review of the Lake Superior Stage 1 LaMP noted that significant data gaps related to sources and loadings of critical pollutants exist. Potential means of achieving virtual elimination of dioxin in the Great Lakes basin were outlined and discussed at the workshop.

Five classes of dioxin sources (medical waste incinerators, municipal waste incinerators, cement kilns that burn hazardous waste, iron sintering plants and pulp and paper mills) were evaluated and the following issues addressed:

Commoner et al. (1996) documented that these five classes of dioxin sources account for nearly 90 percent of the dioxin entering the Great Lakes and addressed the above issues for each class of dioxin sources in Zeroing Out Dioxin In The Great Lakes: Within Our Reach. As an example of remedial measure evaluation for LaMPs, Table 12 outlines the scenario of an intensive recycling system for the incineration of municipal solid waste in the Great Lakes region.

Table 12. Summary of Direct Economic Impact of Substituting an Intensive Recycling System for the Incineration of Municipal Solid Waste in the Great Lakes Region
Net revenues from additional recycled materials* +462
Avoided incinerator tip fees +675
Additional collection costs -206
Additional education costs -88
Incinerator debt retirement costs -307
Total Net Revenue +536

*The midpoints of the estimates for public and private facilities are averaged to generate this value.

Source: Presentation by Dr. Barry Commoner on February 26, 1997 in Chicago, Illinois.

As noted in Table 12, the evaluation of substituting an intensive recycling system for the present incineration of municipal solid waste predicts savings of over $500 million (U.S.) annually in the Great Lakes region, while reducing dioxin emissions from a major source to zero. As LaMPs progress further into Stage 3 (selection of remedial measures), it will be important to analyze benefits of alternatives, such as recycling, as a cost-effective means of decreasing the dioxin load to a lake.

Production of dioxin from iron sintering plants is a recently raised concern in the Great Lakes basin. As of the February 1997 workshop, no known measurements of dioxin emissions from iron sintering plants in the basin had been made. Commoner et al. (1996) suggest that iron sintering plants account for 21 percent of the total atmospheric deposition of dioxin in Lake Michigan. Emissions from iron sintering plants in the Great Lakes basin were measured in June 1997. Still, little is known regarding this source of dioxin emissions and an evaluation of remedial measures to reduce resultant loading to Lake Michigan or other lakes would be difficult to accomplish at this time. The measurement of dioxin emissions and evaluation of remedial measures are important, particularly for the Lake Michigan LaMP effort. Newly measured sources of dioxin, such as iron sintering plants, represent a significant opportunity for the Parties and jurisdictions to pursue pollution prevention rather than control options to reduce dioxin loading.

6.1.6 References

Becker, M.L. and B.A. Kirschner (eds.). July 1996. Partnerships for Progress Workshop. Held at Detroit, Michigan, June 5, 1996. Sponsored by Canadian Consulate General, International Joint Commission and Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. Available from International Joint Commission, Windsor, Ontario. 35pp.

Commoner, B., M. Cohen, P. Bartlett, A. Dickar, E. Hogler, C. Hill, and J. Rosenthal. 1996. Zeroing Out Dioxin In The Great Lakes: Within Our Reach. Center for the Biology of Natural Systems, Queens College, Flushing, NY.

International Joint Commission. August 1996a. Wingspread Conference: Funding Strategies for Restoration of Areas of Concern in the Great Lakes Basin. Summary Report. Held at Wingspread, The Johnson Foundation, Racine, Wisconsin, July 23-25, 1996. Available from International Joint Commission, Windsor, Ontario. 12pp.

International Joint Commission. 1996b. Lake Superior Stage 1 Lakewide Management Plan Review. Windsor, Ontario. 5pp.

URL: http://www.ijc.org/rel/boards/letf/pr9597.html