For Release: February 2, 1996
THE INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION RELEASES REPORT
ON CANADA-UNITED STATES AIR QUALITY AGREEMENT
The International Joint Commission today released its report to the Governments of
Canada and the
United States on public comments received on the 1991 Canada-United States Air Quality
Agreement and its implementation.
Public comment suggests that the Agreement, is a broad enough framework to address all
air pollution issues. Many expressed disappointment at the Governments' seeming reluctance to
Agreement to address key transboundary air quality issues other than sulphur dioxide and
oxides, which are acid rain precursors.
While recognizing that improvements have been made to reduce acid rain precursors and put
arrangements in place in both countries, the majority of the respondents urged that the scope of
quality issues addressed under the Agreement should be expanded to include regional smog and
level (tropospheric) ozone, toxic air contaminants, inhalable particulate matter and acid aerosols.
health impacts of these air pollutants were cited as the justification of the need to expand the
Agreement. Strong support was also expressed for harmonization of air quality standards across
The 1991 Canada-United States Air Quality Agreement contains specific commitments for
reductions relating to acid rain precursors and research as well as a commitment to review the
Agreement in its fifth year. The Governments of Canada and the United States, asked the
to assist in the fifth year review by inviting public input on the Agreement and its
Commission held public hearings in Ottawa, Ontario and Washington, D.C. and also encouraged
submissions. The report contains a summary of the comments received.
The International Joint Commission is an independent international organization established
Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909. Its purpose is to help prevent and resolve disputes and to
United States and Canada on questions of mutual concern along the boundary. Three members of
Commission are appointed by the President of the United States and three by the
For additional information, or copies of the report, contact: