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November 9, 1998

Contact: Bruce Kirschner Windsor, ON (519) 257-6710
Jennifer Day (519) 257-6733

International Joint Commission Reviews Cleanup Plan for Nipigon Bay

The International Joint Commission (IJC) commends efforts by the local Remedial Action Plan (RAP) team in evaluating significant restoration activities for the Nipigon Bay Area of Concern and developing estimated costs for each item allowing for prioritization of remedial actions. In its review of the Stage 2 Nipigon Bay RAP, released today, the IJC also noted that the local Public Advisory Committee (PAC) is an extremely active group and commends its development of long-term objectives and specific water use goals for the AOC.

The IJC compliments the RAP team and PAC for sustained attention to its goals and the cleanup of Nipigon Bay. Completion of Domtar Packaging Ltd.'s aerated stabilization basin and various fishery habitat projects including improvements at the Red Rock Marina have been notable accomplishments. The IJC recognizes the need to further evaluate benefits that would be derived from the restoration and protection of beneficial uses that historically existed, including a range of economic and health implications. Documentation of these benefits is important in order to provide agencies a more comprehensive and ecosystemic perspective to restoration of the AOC.

Under the Agreement signed in 1978, Canada and the United States, in cooperation with the Great Lakes state and provincial governments, are responsible for developing and implementing RAPs to restore water quality in Areas of Concern. Forty-two locations in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River basin are designated as Areas of Concern because pollution problems have impaired water uses, such as recreation or drinking supply, or the ability to support aquatic life.

Under the 1978 Agreement, the International Joint Commission reviews each RAP at three stages: 1) when the area's problems have been defined, 2) when measures to restore water quality have been selected, and 3) when beneficial uses of the water have been restored to the area. The IJC's review is provided to the Governments, RAP personnel and the public to assist them in carrying out the cleanup efforts.

IJC is a binational Canada-United States organization established by The Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to help the two Governments prevent and resolve disputes over use of waters along the U.S. and Canada boundary. Under the 1978 Agreement, IJC assesses progress by the two countries to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the waters of the Great Lakes basin ecosystem. The full text of this review is available on the Internet at http://www.ijc.org/php/publications/html/nipigon/stage2rev.html(.)

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