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MEDIA RELEASE January 9, 2003

International Joint Commission Seeks Comments on Air Quality Progress Report

The International Joint Commission seeks public comments on the 2002 Progress Report on activities under the 1991 Canada-United States Air Quality Agreement . The Progress Report, published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Environment Canada, is available online at http://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/progsregs/usca/docs/airus02.pdf or http://www.ec.gc.ca/air/qual/2002/index_e.html . The Agreement was signed by the two federal governments as a cooperative commitment to address transboundary air quality issues.

The 2002 Progress Report, the sixth under the 1991 agreement, highlights actions taken over the past two years to address transboundary air quality concerns, including acid rain and the requirements of the new annex on ozone. With respect to acid rain, Canada reports sulfur dioxide (SO 2 ) emission levels that are 20 percent below the national emissions cap commitment, while the United States reports reductions in emissions of 35 percent compared to 1980 levels. The report also covers cooperation on particulate matter, data measurement and analysis, air pollution effects monitoring, and presents the results of the governments’ second five-year comprehensive review of the agreement.

The International Joint Commission is responsible for inviting public comments on each progress report, synthesizing the views received and releasing this synthesis to the public after its submission to the two governments.

The IJC requests that interested parties send comments to one of the following addresses by February 28, 2003:

Secretary, Canadian Section
International Joint Commission
234 Laurier Avenue West, 22 nd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 5M1
Fax: (613) 993-5583
Email: Commission@ottawa.ijc.org
Secretary, U.S. Section
International Joint Commission
1250, 23 rd Street N.W., Suite 100
Washington, DC 20440
Fax: (202) 736-9015
Email: Commission@washington.ijc.org

Contacts:

Frank Bevacqua, Washington, D.C. (202) 736-9024

Fabien Lengellé, Ottawa, ON         (613) 995-0088

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