June 20, 2002

Ninety percent reduction of hazardous waste inputs to the Niagara River achieved

Remedial actions on numerous hazardous waste sites taken by New York State and U.S. EPA have reduced potential inputs of certain hazardous pollutants to the Niagara river by approximately 90 percent. This is one of many findings released today by the International Joint Commission (IJC) in its assessment of federal, state and provincial governments’ activities toward restoration of the Niagara River. This status assessment highlights several notable successes, but also underlines some challenges that could hinder future progress should they be left unaddressed under the current Remedial Action Plan (RAP).

The status assessment evaluates ongoing remediation by the responsible governments and is not an environmental audit of current conditions of the Niagara River. The Commission and its Science Advisory Board met with local citizens, representatives of government agencies in both the U.S. and in Canada, industries, local municipalities, nongovernmental organizations and the media to collect information during the assessment.

The IJC’s key findings toward restoration of the river include:

  • considerable reductions in contaminant loadings achieved throughout the region, including reduction of certain potential inputs to the river by approximately 90 percent since 1989 from hazardous waste sites on the U.S. side;
  • significant contributions made toward achieving the goals of the Lake Ontario Lakewide Management Plan;
  • long-term, binational monitoring programs established and maintained
  • IJC status assessments examine and encourage progress toward restoration and protection of beneficial uses in an area of concern by assessing program implementation relative to necessary remedial and preventive actions, and by making recommendations on specific activities that if taken could make measurable progress in river restoration. Some areas where the IJC believes efforts can improve include better coordination of efforts by all jurisdictions involved and enhanced public outreach efforts.

Click here for the Full Report in:

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Or view individual pages in pdf format:

Front Cover
Table of Contents
Page 1 - Introduction
Page 2 - The Status Assessment Process / Current Status Assessment
Page 3 - The Niagara River Area of Concern
Page 4 - Setting and Sources of Contamination
Page 5 - Beneficial Use Impairments in the Niagara River AOC
Page 6 - Setting and Sources of Contamination Cont.
Page 7 - Human Health Considerations
Page 8 - Findings
Page 9 - Notable Successes
Page 10 - Notable Successes Cont.
Page 11 - Challenges to Restoring Beneficial Uses
Page 12 - Recommendation
Page 13 - Coordination of Efforts to Restore Beneficial Uses
Page 14 - Maintaining Public Awareness and Involvement
Page 15 - Maintaining the Gains to Date
Page 16 - Concluding Remarks
Page 17 - Literature Cited
Page 18 - Literature Cited
Page 19 - Literature Cited
Page 20 - Schedule of Consultations
Glossary of Acronyms
Back Cover

For more information, contact:
Jennifer Day

In Canada -
(519) 257-6733

In the U.S. -
(313) 226-2170 Ext. 6733

Bruce Kirschner

In Canada -
(519) 257-6710

In the U.S. -
(313) 226-2170 Ext. 6710

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