October 31, 2003

IJC Releases Comments on St. Mary's River Stage 2
Remedial Action Plan

IJC Releases Comments on St. Mary’s River Stage 2 Remedial Action Plan The International Joint Commission (IJC) today released its comments on the St. Mary’s River Stage 2 Remedial Action Plan. In its report, the IJC noted the implementation of major projects to reduce discharges from the city of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, Algoma Steel and St. Marys Paper Limited. The IJC concludes that governments did not provide sufficient information for a full review and will await further expected submissions before assessing whether or not the plan fully meets stage 2 requirements. The need for additional monitoring and public consultation was also noted in the report.

Remedial Action Plans (RAPs) for designated Areas of Concern (AOCs) are to be developed and implemented by the Parties (Canadian and U.S. Governments) in cooperation with State and Provincial Governments. The AOCs are geographic areas that fail to meet the general or specific objectives of the Great Lakes Water Agreement (the Agreement) where such failure has caused or is likely to cause impairment of the beneficial use or of the area’s ability to support aquatic life. The RAPs are to be submitted to the International Joint Commission (Commission) for review and comment at three stages:

  • stage 1-when a definition of the problem has been completed;
  • stage 2-when remedial and regulatory measures are selected; and
  • stage 3-when monitoring indicates that identified beneficial uses have been restored.

The Commission’s review and comments on the Stage 2 St. Marys River RAP reflect an assessment of the document submitted in relation to the five Stage 2 requirements, consideration of the implementation of an ecosystem approach to the restoration and protection of beneficial uses, and an assessment of adequacy of public consultation.

The International Joint Commission is an international organization established by the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to prevent and resolves disputes over the use of waters shared by the United States and Canada. Further information, including the Commission’s report, can be found on the IJC’s website:


Jennifer Day Great Lakes Regional Office (519) 257-6735
Frank Bevacqua Washington, D.C. (202) 736-9024
Fabien Lengellé Ottawa, Ontario (613) 995-0088
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