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February 22, 2010

IJC schedules public consultations on St. Clair River Report

The International Joint Commission (IJC) announced today that it will hold public consultations from March 22‐31, 2010 to invite comment on the report of its International Upper Great Lakes Study Board entitled Impacts on Upper Great Lakes Water Levels: St. Clair River.

The report concludes the first phase of the study and examines the physical changes in the St. Clair River since 1962. It recommends that measures to remediate the increased conveyance, or water‐carrying capacity, of the river not be undertaken at this time. It also recommends that mitigation measures in the St. Clair River be examined as part of the comprehensive assessment of the future effects of climate change in the second phase of the study.

Each of the three public consultations will consist of two paired locations, one in Canada and one in the United States, linked by telephone and video display to allow the public at each location to hear comments from the other location.

"Our two nations share the St. Clair River and the water that flows through it from the upper lakes," said Canadian Chair Joe Comuzzi. "It is vital that the public on both sides of the border has a say in its future."

American Chair Irene Brooks added, "We invite the public who cannot physically attend one of the shared meetings, to join us by telephone conference the following week, or on our blog and Facebook pages in the days leading up to the meetings, and until our April 9th deadline for comment."

The public consultations will begin at 7:00 pm as follows:

Monday, March 22, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Midland, ON
North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre
Community Hall A
527 Len Self Blvd
Toronto, ON
Seneca College, Newnham Campus
Conference Centre, Rooms 4-6
1750 Finch Ave. East
Sarnia, ON
Sarnia City Hall
Council Chambers
255 North Christina Street
Sturgeon Bay, WI
Crossroads at Big Creek Nature Center
Lecture Hall
2041  Michigan Street
Muskegon, MI
Annis Water Resources Institute
Grand Valley State University
Multi-Purpose Room
Second Floor
Lake Michigan Center
740 West Shoreline Drive
Toledo, OH
Lake Erie Center
University of Toledo
6200 Bayshore Rd.
Oregon, OH 43616

Two teleconferences will be held for those people who are not able to attend the meetings. Teleconferences will be held in English and in French on Tuesday, March 30 at 1:00 pm and Wednesday, March 31 at 7:00 pm. Details of the teleconferences will be provided in a subsequent news release.

Written comments may also be submitted to the IJC for receipt by April 9, 2010 to either address below:

U. S. Section SecretaryCanadian Section Secretary
International Joint Commission
2401 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Fourth Floor
Washington, DC 20440
Phone: 202-736-9024
Fax: 202-254-4564
International Joint Commission
234 Laurier Avenue West, 22nd Floor
Ottawa, ON K1P 6K6
Phone: 613-947-1420
Fax: 613-993-5583

The IJC will consider the views of the public on the recommendations of its Study Board before it reports to the governments of Canada and the United States on matters related to the St. Clair River and their impacts on upper Great Lakes water levels.

The second phase of the study will continue to examine whether the IJC Order of Approval and plan for regulating Lake Superior outflows should be modified to address the evolving needs of users on Lakes Superior, Huron, Michigan and Erie and the changing climate. The final report of the Study Board on the entire study is expected to be completed and submitted to the IJC by early 2012. Funded equally by the U.S. and Canadian governments, the study is being conducted by the binational, independent International Upper Great Lakes Study Board at the request of the IJC under the authority of the Boundary Waters Treaty.

The International Joint Commission was established under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to help the United States and Canada prevent and resolve disputes over the use of the waters the two countries share. Its responsibilities include considering applications for projects that affect the natural levels and flows of boundary waters, such as the diversion of water for hydropower production and the compensating works in the St. Marys River. The Commission's Orders of Approval require that the flows through the project meet certain conditions to protect interests in both countries. For more information, visit the Commission's website at


Ottawa Bernard Beckhoff (613) 947-1420
Washington Frank Bevacqua (202) 736-9024

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