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IJC to visit 12 cities for public hearings on IJC's interim report on the uses, diversions, and bulk exports of Great Lakes water

The International Joint Commission (IJC) will hold public hearings in Ottawa, Washington and 10 cities in the Great Lakes basin in September and October to solicit public and official comment on the interim recommendations contained in its interim report, "Protection of the Waters of the Great Lakes," that was released on August 18, 1999. Private citizens, members of advocacy groups, representatives of industry, and federal, state, and provincial government officials will have an opportunity to express their views on the report and to suggest to the IJC improvements to the report and its recommendations for inclusion in the final report. Locations and times are provided below. Additional information and any changes will be provided later and will also be posted on the IJC's web site.

September 26, 1999, 1-4:00 p.m.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Midwest Express Center
Ballroom 104
October 5, 1999, 7-10:00 p.m.
London, Ontario

London Convention Centre
300 York Street
London, Ontario
(519) 661-5764
Room: Salon "A"
October 12, 1999, 7-10:00 p.m.
Toronto, Ontario

The Westin Harbour Castle - Business Centre
1, Harbour Square
Toronto, Ontario
(416) 869-1600
Room: Pier 4 & 5
October 12, 1999, 7-10:00 p.m.
Detroit, Michigan

Crowne Ballroom
Hotel Pontchartrain
2 Washington Boulevard
(313) 965-0200
October 13, 1999, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Ottawa, Ontario

Canadian Museum of Nature
240 McLeod St. (Corner of McLeod and Elgin)
Room: "Le Salon"
October 14, 1999, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Washington, D.C.

Hall of States
444 N. Capitol St. NW
Note: Panels will be making presentations from 10 to 3. Speakers from the public will be making presentations from 3 to 4.

Room: 383-385

October 19, 1999, 7-10:00 p.m.
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Bayfront Quality Inn
180 Bay Street
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
(705) 945-9264
Room: Main Room
October 19, 1999, 7-10:00 p.m.
Gary, Indiana

Marquette Park Pavilion
1 North Grand Boulevard
(219) 938-7362
October 20, 1999, 7-10:00 p.m.
Duluth, Minnesota

Great Lakes Ballroom
Holiday Inn
200 W. First Street
(218) 722-1202
October 20, 1999, 7-10:00 p.m.
Buffalo, New York

Ellicott Room
University Inn and Conference Center
2402 N. Forest Road
Amherst, NY
(716) 636-7500
October 21, 1999, 7-10:00 p.m.
Montréal, Quebec

Hôtel le Reine Elizabeth
900 boul. René-Lévesque ouest
Montréal, Québec
(514) 861-3511
Room: Salon Mackenzie
October 21, 1999, 7-10:00 p.m.
Thunder Bay, Ontario

Valhalla Inn
1 Valhalla Inn Road
Thunder Bay, ON
(807) 577-1121
Room: Scandia 1 & 2

All interested persons and organizations are encouraged to submit comment. Due to time constraints, speakers may only have the opportunity to summarize their comments (five minutes) during the public hearing. Written comment may also be submitted at the public hearings, or to the following IJC offices during the course of this investigation:

Secretary, Canadian Section
100 Metcalfe Street, 18th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5M1
Fax 613.993.5583
Secretary, United States Section
1250 23rd Street NW, Suite 100
Washington, DC 20440
Fax 202.736.9015

The International Joint Commission is a binational Canada-U.S. organization established by the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909. It assists the governments in managing waters along the border for the benefit of both countries in a variety of ways including examining issues referred to it by the two federal governments.

On February 10, 1999, the governments asked the IJC to investigate the use, diversion and removal of waters in light of their concern that current management principles and conservation measures may be inadequate to ensure the future sustainable use of our shared waters.

In its interim report the IJC recommended that, pending submission of its final report under the reference, U.S. and Canadian federal, state and provincial governments should not authorize or permit any new bulk sales or removals of surface water or groundwater of the Great Lakes basin and should continue to exercise caution with regard to consumptive uses of these waters, in accordance with existing laws in both countries and the Great Lakes Charter. The IJC will issue its final report under the water uses reference in February 2000.

For more information, including the text of the interim report and updates on the public hearings, visit the IJC's web site at and click on the "Water Uses Reference" button:

Washington, D.C. Frank Bevacqua 202.736.9024
Ottawa, ON Fabien Lengellé 613.995.0088

September 3, 1999

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