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PUBLIC NOTICE

December 22, 1998

IJC Invites Public Comment on
Proposed Projects in Niagara River

The International Joint Commission (IJC) has been asked by the Governments of Canada and the United States to address two projects in the Niagara River pursuant to the terms of the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909.

Peace Bridge Capacity Expansion Project

On December 9, 1998, the IJC received an application by the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority to approve the Peace Bridge Capacity Expansion Project. The proposed project consists of a multi-span, multiple steel arch bridge over the Niagara River and Black Rock Canal between Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New York. The project will be constructed parallel to the existing Peace Bridge, which will remain in use after the project is completed.

Under the Boundary Waters Treaty, the IJC approves any uses, obstructions and diversions of boundary waters that would affect the natural level or flow across the boundary, unless the two federal governments give approval by a special agreement. The IJC will evaluate potential effects on water levels and flows, and other potential transboundary effects, of the proposed bridge construction. The original Peace Bridge was approved by the IJC in 1925.

Ontario Hydro Water Diversion Facilities Project

On December 21, 1998, the IJC received a reference from the Governments of the United States and Canada to investigate and report on the effects of a proposed Ontario Hydro project on the remedial works associated with its water diversion facilities in the Niagara River and on other transboundary effects, including environmental effects, as the IJC considers necessary or helpful.

The proposed project by Ontario Hydro would require modification of remedial works in the Niagara River that were previously recommended and approved by the IJC. Under the reference, the IJC will be investigating the effects of the proposed project on the remedial works and will be recommending any changes in the design plans or operating conditions needed to achieve objectives recommended by the IJC in 1953. The objectives included ensuring that there is an unbroken crest line over Horseshoe Falls and no effect on the level of Lake Erie.

Public Hearing

The IJC has scheduled a public hearing at the following times and locations to receive comment from any interested citizens or organizations in Canada or the United States:

CANADA UNITED STATES

7:00-10:00 p.m., January 27, 1999
Marriott Hotel of Niagara Falls
6740 Oakes Drive
Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3W6
905.871.2546

7:00-10:00 p.m., January 28, 1999
Buffalo-Niagara Marriott
1340 Millersport Highway
Amherst, NY 14221
Ballrooms 1, 2 and 3
716.689.6900

Topics will be addressed in the following order:

Comment on the proposed Peace Bridge Capacity Expansion Project

Comment on the proposed redevelopment and expansion of Ontario Hydro's water diversion facilities in the Niagara River

Comment on the effects of the two projects combined

Topics will be addressed in the following order:

Comment on the proposed Peace Bridge Capacity Expansion Project

Comment on the proposed redevelopment and expansion of Ontario Hydro's water diversion facilities in the Niagara River

Comment on the effects of the two projects combined

The IJC has asked its International Niagara Board of Control to review and advise the IJC on certain issues with respect to the Peace Bridge application and the Ontario Hydro project reference. The IJC has asked the board to provide a status report on January 22, 1999 on potential issues and to make a presentation at the public hearings. The IJC's request to the board will be available and the board's status report will also be available, when it is received, on the IJC's website.

Document Availability

Descriptions of the proposed projects, along with the application and reference, will be available for inspection at the following locations:

IJC website: www.ijc.org

Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority*
The Peace Bridge - Peace Bridge Plaza
Buffalo, NY 14213
716.884.6744 (United States)
905. 871.1608 (Canada)
*Peace Bridge information only
Ontario Hydro Public Reference Centre**
700 University Avenue, Mezzanine Floor
Toronto, ON
M5G 1X6
416.592.5111
**Ontario Hydro information only
Fort Erie Public Library
136 Gilmore Road
Fort Erie, Ontario L2A 2M1
Business, Science and Technology Dept.
Buffalo and Erie County Public Library
Lafayette Square
Buffalo, NY 14203
716.858.7181
Reference Desk
Niagara Falls Public Library
1425 Main Street
Niagara Falls, NY 14305
716.286.4881

Written comment

All interested persons and organizations are encouraged to submit comments in writing. Depending on the number of people wishing to speak, speakers may only have the opportunity to summarize their comments at the public hearing. Written comments may be submitted to the IJC's secretaries at the public hearing, or at the following addresses to be received by February 4, 1999:

Secretary, Canadian Section
100 Metcalfe Street, 18th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5M1
Fax 613.993.5583
Email Commission@ottawa.ijc.org
Secretary, United States Section
1250 23rd Street NW, Suite 100
Washington, DC 20440
Fax 202.736.9015
Email Commission@washington.ijc.org

The International Joint Commission

The International Joint Commission was created under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to help prevent and resolve disputes over the use of waters along the United States-Canada boundary. Its responsibilities include approving certain projects that would alter water levels on the other side of the boundary and providing independent advice on matters of mutual concern on request from the Governments of the Canada and United States. For more information, please consult the Commission's Web site at www.ijc.org.

Contacts

Frank Bevacqua Washington, DC 202.736.9024 bevacquaf@washington.ijc.org
Fabien Lengellé Ottawa, ON 613.995.0088 http://www.ijc.org/fr/contacts/contacts.htm



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