International Joint Commission
Winter 2002
Volume 27, Issue 4

Welcome new U.S. commissioners,
Irene Brooks and Allen Olson

Irene B. Brooks was appointed as Commissioner to the U.S. Section, International Joint Commission, by President George W. Bush and assumed office on December 3, 2002.

In an era of unique challenges, Irene Brooks has carefully and thoughtfully tread an impressive path as administrator, negotiator and leader. She was appointed by Governor Tom Ridge to represent Pennsylvania on all interstate river basin commissions of which the commonwealth is a member. Ms. Brooks served as Pennsylvania Commissioner and Executive Director, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Office for River Basin Cooperation from 1995-2002. She coordinated with the Secretary of the Department and the Governor's Office on a variety of interstate issues, including the development of long-range plans and adoption of policies, as well as regulations affecting the water of millions of citizens within fifteen states and two Canadian provinces. She served as Chair of the Great Lakes Commission from 1998-2000 and Vice Chair from 1996-1998.

In 1989 she was appointed by President George Bush to serve as the United States Commissioner to the Delaware River Basin Commission, a five-member regulatory and quasi-judicial agency managing the water resources within the 13,000-square-mile Delaware River basin. She helped formulate federal policy, coordinating a consensus among all federal agencies and working with congressional committees, individual congressmen and staff members plus state and federal representatives.

Previously, Ms. Brooks was appointed by unanimous vote of the Court of Common Pleas to complete a term as Chester County Commissioner and was subsequently elected to that position. She developed and implemented a comprehensive countywide plan to help protect and preserve the environment, farmland and open spaces, the first of its kind in Pennsylvania. The Chester County Open Space Program has been adopted by other counties across the country and has won several presidential awards.

Ms. Brooks graduated cum laude with a Bachelor's degree in political science/public administration from West Chester University. She has received the Mary H. Marsh Medal from the American Water Resources Association; the Stewardship Award from the Dela-ware River Basin Commission, recognition for her outstanding service from the Great Lakes Commission; the Leadership Award from the Interstate Council on Water Policy; and Outstanding Service to Conservation from The Nature Conservancy among others.

Allen I. Olson was appointed as Commissioner to the U.S. Section, International Joint Commission, by President George W. Bush and assumed office on December 3, 2002.

In joining the International Joint Commission, Mr. Olson comes from a distinguished career in public service and private practice. He is currently the President and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of Minnesota (1988-present). He has worked as a full-time consultant for the Physicians Health Plan of Minnesota and affiliated companies, and in private law practice in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Mr. Olson served as Governor of North Dakota (1980-1984) and as Attorney General of North Dakota (1972-1980). Previously, he was Senior Partner of a law firm in Bismarck, North Dakota, and Assistant Director of the North Dakota Legislative Council. He served in the U.S. Army as Appellate and Trial Counsel in the Judge Advocate General's Corps (1963-1967) and as Chief of Military Justice in Munich, Germany (1967).

Mr. Olson earned a J.D. degree at the University of North Dakota College of Law, a B.S. and B.A. at the University of North Dakota College of Business and Public Administration, and attended the U.S. Army Judge Advocate Generals School at the University of Virginia.

Mr. Olson has served in many other capacities including as a member of the International Flood Mitigation Initiative for the Red River Basin; Chairman of the Board for the Red River Trade Council Inc.; and Trustee for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. He is a member of the Citizens League, an organization that provides forums to involve citizens in public policy formation.

IJC Agrees - Severn Sound Has Been Restored

In October 2002, The IJC met with Canadian Environment Minister David Anderson and Canadian Secretary of State Denis Paradis to present a letter concurring that the Severn Sound, Ontario Area of Concern has been restored, under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

Under the 1987 Protocol to the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, the most severely impaired tributary rivers and embayments of the Great Lakes were listed as Areas of Concern. Remedial Action Plans were developed by the U.S. and Canadian governments to correct and restore water quality in each area. To date, 43 Areas of Concern have been identified. When monitoring indicates that all beneficial uses as defined under the Agreement have been restored, an Area of Concern can be 'delisted' by the responsible government. Severn Sound will be the second Area of Concern to be delisted. The first was Collingwood Harbour, Ontario.

(Left to right): Mayor Anita Dubeau, Town of Penetanguishene (representing eight heads of municipal Councils); Duncan McLaren, Chair, Severn Sound RAP Public Advisory Committee; the Honourable Paul DeVillers, Minister of State for Sport and MP, North Simcoe; the Honourable David Anderson, Minister of the Environment representing the Government of Canada; the Right Honourable Herb Gray, Canadian Co-Chair, International Joint Commission; Garfield Dunlop, MPP, Simcoe North representing the Province of Ontario; Bill Thompson, Chair, Severn Sound Environmental Association; Keith Sherman, Coordinator, Severn Sound RAP.

Notification of Intensive Livestock Operations

In August, the International Red River Board (IRRB) of the IJC adopted a notification protocol to mitigate the transboundary effects of intensive livestock operations in Manitoba, Minnesota and North Dakota. Under the protocol, an IRRB contact in each jurisdiction will alert his or her counterparts to proposed new factory farms within five miles of the international boundary. This will allow IRRB contacts in the adjacent jurisdiction to anticipate transboundary problems and work with the permitting jurisdiction to resolve concerns before construction and operation of the new farm begins.

Factory farms, officially referred to as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), are huge livestock operations encompassing thousands - often tens of thousands - of pigs, hogs, cattle or chickens. Whereas family farms used to be considered large if they had 50 or 70 animals, business logic in the farming industry has led to exponentially larger operations over the past decades. The IRRB protocol calls for notification about any farm with more than 300 animal units.

Having so many animals in one operation creates an enormous problem of waste. For example, a typical CAFO can generate as much effluent as a medium-sized town, but rarely has any waste treatment system. For historical and political reasons, factory farms are subject to few regulations dealing with the waste they generate. Usually this waste is spread on the ground or concentrated in pools. As a result, bacteria and the waste itself has been known to leak into groundwater, foul the air, and wash into rivers and streams, particularly during floods. CAFOs located on watercourses, therefore, pose a health and safety concern beyond the immediate vicinity. The IRRB's new protocol marks an important step in managing factory farm impact on U.S. - Canadian relations.

Air Quality Progress Report Issued -
IJC Seeks Public Comment

The Canadian and U.S. governments have released their 2002 Air Quality Agreement Progress Report. This is the sixth under the 1991 Canada-U.S. Air Quality Agreement and the first to address new requirements under the Ozone Annex (Annex III) signed in 2000. The 2002 report details significant actions taken to address acid rain, including Canadian sulphur dioxide (SO2) levels, which are 20 percent below the national emission cap commitment, and U.S. reductions of 35 percent compared to 1980 levels.

In addition to the Ozone Annex, the report includes information on sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide reductions, cooperative air quality programs, notification and assessment actions, and research efforts related to aquatic environment, forest, materials and human health effects.

The IJC is required to seek public comment on the annual progress report and report back to the governments on the public's reaction. We need your help. The 2002 Progress Report is available online at:

Send your comments before February 28, 2003 to: In Secretary, Canadian Section Canada: International Joint Commission 234 Laurier Avenue, West 22nd Floor Ottawa, Ontario K1P 6K6 Fax: 613-993-5583 Email: In the Secretary, United States Section U.S.: International Joint Commission 1250 23rd Street, NW, Suite 100 Washington, DC 20o37 Fax: 202-736-9015 Email: .

IJC Releases Report Card on Transboundary Air Quality

The IJC, in July, released its 2002 Report Card on Transboundary Air Quality prepared by the Commission's International Air Quality Advisory Board. This Report Card is a followup to the board's 1998 Special Report on Transboundary Air Quality Issues between the United States and Canada , and describes actions taken with respect to each recommendation in the 1998 report.

The IJC has a responsibility to bring air quality issues along the border to the attention of governments. The 1998 Special Report on Transboundary Air Quality Issues highlighted the major transboundary air quality issues facing our two nations and made recommendations for needed actions. The 2002 Report Card is a companion piece to this report and provides an update on what has been accomplished in the past four years. Although actions have been taken on several of the issues, much remains to be done.

The International Joint Commission encourages the governments to fully utilize the potential of their 1991 Canada-U.S. Air Quality Agreement as a framework for cross-border cooperation on air quality issues, to enhance cooperation, and to develop a more integrated approach to addressing transboundary air quality issues. In encouraging the governments, the 2002 Report Card maintains a focus on specific transboundary air quality issues.

The 2002 Report Card can be found on the internet at and the 1998 Special Report at .


IJC welcomes the recent appointments to its boards .

Charles Lalonde
Director, Resource Management
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food
Great Lakes Water Quality Board
Peter Yee
Manager, Great Lakes - St. Lawrence
Regulation Office
Environment Canada
International Lake Superior Board of Control

And we thank those who have finished their service.
Kelly Burch
Pennsylvania Department
of Environmental Protection
Great Lakes Water Quality Board
Steve Clarkson
Health Canada
Great Lakes Water Quality Board

Hot Off the Press

The IJC's Eleventh Biennial Report on Great Lakes Water Quality , assessing progress of the U.S. and Canada to restore and maintain the Great Lakes is available on the Internet at or can be obtained on CD or in hard copy by contacting any IJC office.

The 2002 Report Card on Transboundary Air Quality prepared by the IJC's International Air Quality Advisory Board. This Report Card is a followup to the board's 1998 Special Report on Transboundary Air Quality Issues between the United States and Canada, and describes actions taken with respect to each recommendation in the 1998 report. The report can be found on the Internet at .

Stay in the loop! The fastest way to receive updates about new IJC reports and activities is by email. To register for regular updates, visit our website at and click on the 'IJC Announce' button.

Soon to be released - The IJC's Special Report on Areas of Concern - Unresolved Challenges: A Report on Progress for the Great Lakes Areas of Concern - evaluates RAP implementation and progress across the Great Lakes basin. The report will be available on the Internet at, on CD with the Eleventh Biennial Report on Great Lakes Water Quality or in hard copy by contacting any IJC office.

Contact Us

The IJC is interested in your views on any of our activities. You may contact us in the following ways: 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
  Dr. Gail Krantzberg
Jennifer Day
Public Affairs


Mail   234 Laurier Avenue West
22nd Floor
Ottawa, ON
K1P 6K6
  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   202.467.7046   519.257-6740

Telephone   613.995.2984   202.736.9000   519.257.6700

Home Page


  Dennis L. Schornack
U.S. Section Chair

Irene Brooks

Allen Olson

Rt. Hon. Herb Gray
Canadian Section Chair

Robert Gourd

Jack Blaney


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.