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MEDIA RELEASE

May 3, 1999

IJC Issues Order of Approval for Peace Bridge Expansion

On April 30, 1999, the International Joint Commission (IJC) issued an Order of Approval for the proposed expansion of the Peace Bridge over the Niagara River.

In issuing this Order of Approval, the IJC notes that the issues within its jurisdiction, including potential effects on water levels and flows and potential transboundary environmental effects, have been adequately addressed.

The IJC has been informed that the new bridge will raise levels upstream in the Niagara River and on Lake Erie temporarily by less than 10 millimetres (0.4 inches) during construction under average discharge conditions. It is anticipated that this impact will dissipate within approximately one year after the cofferdams required for construction are removed and that there will be no impacts on levels and flows thereafter.

The IJC has also been informed that suitable measures have been developed and will be implemented during and after construction to avoid, minimize or compensate for adverse environmental effects of the project, including on fish habitat, water quality, migratory flyways and concerning ice transport.

The responsibility of the IJC is to address issues related to changes in water levels and flows that would result from the project in the application submitted to the IJC.

The Order of Approval responds to an application from the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority received by the IJC on December 9, 1998. The IJC held public hearings in Niagara Falls, Ontario on January 27 and in Buffalo, New York on January 28 and invited written comments.

Under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909, the IJC approves certain uses, obstructions and diversions of boundary waters that would affect the natural level or flow across the boundary. The original Peace Bridge was approved by the IJC in 1925.

Contacts: Washington Frank Bevacqua (202) 736-9024
Ottawa Fabien Lengellé (613) 995-0088

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