The purpose of this directive is to establish and direct the Upper Great Lakes
"Plan of Studies" Team (Team) to develop a Plan of Studies (POS) to review the
operation of structures controlling the outflows from Lake Superior.
The purpose of the studies is to:
review the operation of the structures controlling the levels and flows of the
upper Great Lakes in the light of the impacts of those operations on affected
interests, including the environment
assess whether changes to the Orders or regulation plan are warranted to meet
contemporary and emerging needs, interests and preferences for managing the
system in a sustainable manner, including to meet possible future water
evaluate any options indentified to improve the operating rules and criteria
governing the system.
The POS will be conducted in the context of Articles III and VIII of the
Boundary Waters Treaty and the Commission's alerting responsibilies.
This POS shall include:
the definition of the studies to be performed and the level of detail
anticipated for each study
recommendations as to the agencies or organizations capable of carrying out
each study, recognizing that studies are to be conducted binationally
sources of, or means of obtaining, needed information
recommendations on the order and duration of the study and its phases (in the
case of a phased study), and
estimates of the time, dollar and personnel resources required for the conduct
of each unit of the study.
At a minimum, the following studies or activities will be required:
System flow and level modeling using compiled historical flow records and
extended supply variability data.
Climate change impacts on levels and flows.
Defining the amount of anthropogenic regulation effects compared to natural
levels and flows in the system.
Alternative control approaches that as nearly as possible meet the needs of all
interests (including the integrity of the ecosystem), appropriately balance
effects between Lakes Superior and Michigan - Huron while considering impacts
on the St. Marys River and downstream of Lakes Michigan - Huron (including on
Lake Erie), and respect the requirements of the Boundary Waters Treaty and in
particular Article VIII.
Ongoing public involvement in executing the study, including a means of testing
and demonstrating the effects of possible scenarios with the public.
Development and implementation of decision - support algorithm to choose among
alternative approaches developed.
Environmental impacts of levels and flow regimes and ecosystem needs.
Determination of levels and flow impacts on recreational boating and updating
of impacts on other interest groups (such as riparians, hydropower, commercial
navigation, and municipal water supply), in the light of the 1909 Boundary
Shoreline impacts of levels and flows, including assessment of zoning and other
land use management issues.
Qualititative assessment of how demopgraphic and other possible future changes
may affect user needs, water supplies and regulation impacts.
Topographic and bathymetric data acquisition
Consideration shall be given to whether it is desirable to conduct the study in
a phased approach. One possible phasing consideration is such that the first
phase would identify the degree of anthropogenic control currently available as
compared to a state of nature and expected impacts under climate change, while
a second phase would investigate various regulation approaches.
The Commission shall appoint an equal number of members from Canada and the
United States to the Team. Members act in their personal and professional
capacities and not as representatives of their countries, agencies,
organizations or other affiliations. Members of the Team shall be responsible
for their own expenses unless otherwise arranged by the Commission.
The Team shall keep consult with others as necessary, and especially the
International Lake Superior Board of Control, to complete its work. It shall
take note of work of all other agencies and organizations in both countries in
order to make the most effective use of resources and efforts in both
countries. It shall consult with the St. Lawrence River Study Board, currently
conducting studies for the St. Lawrence River basin, to determine how best to
leverage progress from that study applicable to the upper Great Lakes.
The Team shall keep the Commission informed of its progress and direction. The
Team shall submit to the Commission:
The Team shall make use of public input received prior to and during the
development of the POS. The Team shall distribute information widely to raise
awareness of the effort to develop a Plan of Study and the purpose of the
proposed study. To the extent possible, the development of the POS shall be an
open and transparent process. The Team shall provide opportunities for the
public to comment on the draft POS concurrently with the Commission's review.
The Team shall coordinate its public involvement plans with the Commission.
Within two weeks of its formation, a document outlining how it plans to proceed
in developing a POS, with special emphasis on public involvement;
Within one month of its formation, a document framing the general nature of
the anticipated POS;
By November 1, 2001, a draft POS; and
By December 31, 2001, a final POS.
Documents, letters, memoranda, and communications of every kind in the official
records of the Commission are privileged and become available for public
information only after release by the Commission. The Commission considers all
documents in any official files that the Team may establish to be similarly
privileged. Accordingly, all such documents shall be so identified and
maintained as separate files. The Commission will work with the Team to assure
that relevant information is available for public review in a timely manner.
To assist in carrying out this assignment, attached are copies of the following:
1909 Boundary Waters Treaty
IJC Orders of Approval
IJC 1993 IJC Report to governments on Adverse Consequences of Fluctuating Water
March 19, 1996, Scope of Work, developed by the International Lake Superior
Board of Control
Membership of the International Lake Superior Board of Control
Membership of the International Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Study Board
September 1999 Plan of Study for Criteria Review in the Orders of Approval for
Regulation of Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Levels and Flows