International Joint Commission
Summer 1999
Volume 24, Issue 2

Come to Milwaukee:
Learn, Share, Act, Interact!

A variety of dynamic sessions and settings will spur the exchange of ideas and strategies among more than 2,000 Great Lakes citizens, government officials, researchers, industrial representatives and others at the International Joint Commission's 1999 Great Lakes Water Quality Forum , Friday, September 24 through Sunday, September 26, 1999 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Forum participants can chose from nearly 20 scientific and policy sessions that focus on issues such as human health benefits of improving water quality, implications of land use and growth policies, the decline of Great Lakes fisheries and the status of high-profile binational Great Lakes initiatives. Young people can collaborate and present their projects at the student forum . More than a dozen tours will highlight efforts to mobilize communities and restore local watersheds.

New this year is the addition of a Great Lakes Environmental Expo with over 60,000 square feet of display space. Everyone from local groups to business and industry will showcase the latest technology and initiatives to protect the environment with educational and hands-on exhibits.

Site of the "Shipyard Shindig"

An Agreement Public Forum provides a convenient opportunity for the public to be heard prior to the IJC formulating advice in its Tenth Biennial Report to governments to be released in the year 2000. The IJC invites you to express your views on Agreement progress, encourage action and change, and identify issues and possible solutions.

Under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, the governments of the United States and Canada have primary responsibility to restore and protect the environmental quality of our Great Lakes. The IJC has responsibility to evaluate progress and its timeliness. Central to the IJC's evaluation is advice and insight provided by the public. The Forum culminates the IJC's consultation process for the current biennial cycle.

At the Forum, governments will report on programs and progress in fulfillment of their Agreement obligations. To enhance public awareness and receive feedback, the IJC's Water Quality Board, Science Advisory Board, International Air Quality Advisory Board and Council of Great Lakes Research Managers will present issues of interest, based on their Priorities Report .

The report on 1997-99 Priorities and Progress Under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement will highlight trends and developments related to the health of the Great Lakes basin ecosystem and its inhabitants. In the past, it has been distributed as a consolidated volume of reports by the IJC's advisory boards and task forces. This year each board report will be distributed individually at the meeting and will be made available on the Internet prior to the meeting. A consolidated version will be printed after the meeting and distributed on request. To request a copy, send your name and address to the IJC's Great Lakes Regional Office or email us at .

Meeting sessions are free of charge and open to the public, but registration is required . For detailed information about the meeting schedule, and renting booth space in the Expo and where to stay in Milwaukee, visit the IJC's website at: and click on the Great Lakes Water Quality Forum button, or contact an IJC office.

We look forward to seeing you in Milwaukee!


IJC Recommends Moratorium on Sales of Great Lakes Water

In its interim report under the Water Uses Reference, the International Joint Commission recommends that, for the next six months while the IJC completes its investigation, U.S. and Canadian federal, state and provincial governments should not authorize or permit any new bulk sales or removals of surface water or groundwater of the Great Lakes basin and should continue to exercise caution with regard to consumptive uses of these waters, in accordance with existing laws in both countries and the Great Lakes Charter.

The IJC also advances as an interim recommendation that no removals should be allowed that would endanger the integrity of the waters of the ecosystem of the Great Lakes basin. The IJC proposes a number of conditions that would determine whether certain removals may be considered, prima facie, not to endanger that integrity. The IJC further recommends actions to improve the development of information needed about current and future consumptive uses and to expand knowledge concerning groundwater.

The interim report responds to the request made by the governments in their February 10, 1999 Water Uses Reference for interim recommendations for the protection of the waters of the Great Lakes. In preparing its interim report, the IJC considered testimony at its eight public hearings, written comment, the work of its study team, and consultations with technical experts, government officials and other interested parties. A final report will be submitted to the governments by February 2000, after completion of phase II of the IJC's study.

Over the next six months, the IJC will conduct public hearings to receive comments on its interim report and will consult extensively with governments and other interested parties concerning the report and its Phase II efforts.

The Protection of the Waters of the Great Lakes: Interim Report to the Governments of Canada and the United States is available on the IJC's home page at on the Internet.


Update on Niagara River Projects


In April the International Joint Commission issued an Order of Approval for the Peace Bridge expansion project , a second bridge parallel to the existing Peace Bridge, and reported on the proposed redevelopment and expansion of Ontario Power Generation's Sir Adam Beck facilities.

In issuing its Order of Approval for the Peace Bridge project, the IJC noted that the issues within its jurisdiction had been adequately addressed. These included a temporary raising of Lake Erie water levels during construction by less than 10 millimetres (0.4 inches) and mitigation of potential transboundary environmental effects on fish habitat, water quality, migratory flyways and ice transport. Discussions over the design of the project have continued outside of the IJC's process.

The IJC's report on the Ontario Power Generation project recommended that the Governments of the United States and Canada allow the construction of the first water diversion tunnel to proceed. The IJC also recommended that the governments review the proposal in the future prior to construction of the second phase, which would include construction of a second tunnel and generating station.


IJC Completes Review of Water Levels Regulation in St. Croix River

Following a multi-year investigation, the International Joint Commission concluded in July that the studies do not support changes to its Orders of Approval for the operation of four dams on the St. Croix River between Maine and New Brunswick. The studies, initiated in response to concerns raised by stakeholders in the basin, showed that the various suggested changes to water levels regulation could not be simultaneously put into place.

In 1993, the IJC established a steering committee to determine whether revisions should be made to the IJC Orders of Approval for dams located at Forest City, Vanceboro, Grand Falls and Milltown. A summary of the Steering Committee's findings is available on the IJC's web site at: .



IJC welcomes the recent appointments
to its boards:

Dr. Stephen G. Brandt , U.S. Co-chair
Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab
National Oceanic and Atomospheric Administration
Council of Great Lakes Research Managers
Cheryl Lewis
Fisheries Section
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
Council of Great Lakes Research Managers
Dr. Fred Edgecombe
Canadian Plastics Industry Association
Council of Great Lakes Research Managers
Christopher Jones
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
Great Lakes Water Quality Board
General Robert H. Griffin
U.S. Co-chair, Great Lakes and Ohio River Division
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

International Lake Superior Board of Control ;

International Niagara Board of Control ;

International St. Lawrence River Board of Control

Colonel Brian E. Osterndorf New England Division
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
International St. Croix River Board of Control


And we thank those who have finished their service:

Judi Orendorff
Fisheries Research Section
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
Council of Great Lakes Research Managers
Denyse Gouin
Aquatic Systems
Quebec Ministry of Environment and Wildlife
Great Lakes Water Quality Board
Don R. Schregardus
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
Great Lakes Water Quality Board
General Hans A. Van Winkle
U.S. Co-chair, Great Lakes and Ohio River Division
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
International Lake Superior Board of Control ; International Niagara Board of Control ; International St. Lawrence River Board of Control
Colonel Michael W. Pratt
New England Division,
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
International St. Croix River Board of Control


Hot Off the Press

For the full text of IJC reports, click on the publications button at or go to the specific web site below. Limited numbers of hard copies are also available from the IJC at (519)257-6734 in Canada, (313)226-2170 ext. 6734 in the United States, and by email.


Protection of the Waters of the Great Lakes: Interim Report to the Governments of Canada and the United States contains the IJC's interim recommendations on the consumption, diversion and removal of Great Lakes water, including bulk removal for export.


In Addressing Concerns for Water Quality Impacts from Large-Scale Great Lakes Aquaculture , the Habitat Advisory Board of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and the Water Quality Board of the IJC have prepared a report containing recommendations from the January 27-28, 1999 roundtable.


The Sediment Priority Action Committee's Ecological Benefits of Contaminated Sediment Remediation in the Great Lakes Basin report examines ecological effects of contaminated sediment and remediation in the Great Lakes, measurements of ecological benefits, and also presents advice to managers and researchers on future evaluation of ecological effectiveness of sediment remediation.


Deciding When to Intervene is a Sediment Priority Action Committee report that synthesizes and interprets the scientific methodologies and management practices that are used to make sediment management decisions, provides advice on the use of scientific data interpretation tools and discusses approaches for evaluating the degree to which an intervention for sediment cleanup is ecologically compelling.

1997-1999 Priorities and Progress under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement . Individual volumes by IJC advisory boards and tasks forces highlight trends and developments related to the health of the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem for the 1997-99 reporting cycle.

The International Air Quality Advisory Board's 24th Progress Report to the International Joint Commission discusses current transboundary air quality issues such as nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide emissions, binational efforts to address ground-level ozone problems, environmental impacts of the gasoline additive MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether) and implementation of fine particulate regulations in the U.S. and Canada.


What's Happening

Public meetings of the IJC and its boards:

September 14, 1999

International Niagara Board of Control Public Meeting and Public Hearing on Ice Boom, Niagara Falls, ON

September 24-26, 1999

1999 IJC Biennial Forum on Great Lakes Water Quality , Milwaukee, WI

October 7, 1999

International Osoyoos Lake Board of Control , Osoyoos, BC

October 13, 1999

International Kootenay Lake Board of Control , Belfort, BC


Stay in Contact!

The IJC is interested in your views on any of our activities. You may contact us in the following ways:

  United States
  Great Lakes Regional Office

Contacts   Murray Clamen
Fabien Lengellé
Public Affairs
  Gerald Galloway
Frank Bevacqua
Public Affairs
  Tom Behlen
Jennifer Day
Public Affairs


Mail   100 Metcalfe Street
18th Floor
Ottawa, ON
K1P 5M1
  1250 23rd Street NW
Suite 100
Washington, DC 20440
  100 Ouellette Avenue, 8th Floor
Windsor, ON
N9A 6T3
P.O. Box 32869
Detroit, MI 48232-2869

Fax   613.993.5583   202.736-9015   519.257-6740

Telephone   613.995.2984   202.736.9000   519.257.6700

Home Page



Thomas Baldini,
U.S. Section Chair

Alice Chamberlin

Susan Bayh

Leonard Legault,
Canadian Section Chair

Frank Murphy

Robert Gourd


The International Joint Commission prevents and resolves disputes between the United States of America and Canada under the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty and pursues the common good of both countries as an independent and objective advisor to the two governments.

Join the Discussion!

The International Joint Commission's public meetings and forums have always given interested citizens from different geographic regions an opportunity to communicate with each other, as well as with the IJC. To extend this opportunity into the electronic age, we have created discussion rooms on our web site where citizens can post their views, invite comment and see what others have to say. Currently there are discussion rooms devoted to IJC's investigatin of water uses, diversions and exports and the IJC's work on the watershed approach.