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PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT

December 18, 2000

International Joint Commission invites comments on directive for its International Red River Board

The International Joint Commission (IJC) will hold public meetings in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Grand Forks, North Dakota, to obtain comment on the proposed directive for its International Red River Board. The IJC also invites written comment on the proposed directive by January 31, 2001. The meetings will be held as follows:

Winnipeg
Tuesday, January 16
7:00 p.m.
Holiday Inn
Winnipeg South
1330 Pembina Highway
Grand Forks
Thursday, January 18
1:30 p.m.
Civic Auditorium -- Room 110
615 1st Avenue North

The IJC has a long history in the Red River basin. At the request of the Canadian and U.S. governments, it formed the International Souris-Red Rivers Engineering Board in 1948 to report on the use and apportionment of water in the Souris and Red River basins and to develop plans of mutual advantage to both countries. The board has undertaken specific studies on various issues of concern and has reported annually on water development activities which have potential transboundary impacts. In 1969, the IJC established the International Red River Pollution Board to maintain surveillance over the water quality and health of the transboundary ecosystem. The pollution board has reported annually to the Commission and has partnered with state, provincial, and local governments over the years to improve water quality in the Red River.

The IJC has merged the Red River aspects of its International Souris-Red Rivers Engineering Board and its International Red River Pollution Board into the International Red River Board. This merger has been implemented to ensure a more ecosystemic approach to transboundary water issues in the Red River basin and to achieve operational efficiencies in the conduct of IJC responsibilities. The IJC has proposed assigning certain flood-related tasks to the International Red River Board, including monitoring progress in implementing the recommendations in its recent report to governments, Living with the Red -- A Report to the Governments of Canada and the United States on Reducing Flood Impacts in the Red River Basin. The proposed directive includes new flood-related tasks and updated descriptions for the tasks previously carried out by the separate boards.

The IJC welcomes written comment on the proposed directive to its International Red River Board to be received by January 31, 2001 at either address below:

Murray Clamen, Secretary
Canadian Section
International Joint Commission
234 Laurier Avenue West
22 nd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 6K6
Fax 613.993.5583
commission@ottawa.ijc.org
Gerald E. Galloway, Secretary
United States Section
International Joint Commission
1250 23 rd Street NW
Suite 100
Washington, DC 20440
Fax 202.467.0746
commission@washington.ijc.org

Federal, state, provincial and local governments have many well-established agencies dealing with various aspects of the flood challenge within their jurisdictions. Their responsibilities are established through laws, regulations and local statutes and the agencies are clearly capable of carrying out many of the tasks that need to be done. The Commission notes that there is considerable activity in the basin focused on development of effective bilateral institutional arrangements to facilitate planning, coordination and execution of flood mitigation programs. The IJC’s International Red River Board (IRRB) will continue to focus on transboundary water related issues in the Red River basin. The IJC looks forward to working with governments and other institutions, including other bilateral institutions, to fulfill its responsibilities under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 and to the responsibilities assigned to it by the two governments under various references.

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 Canada-United States boundary.

More information, including the full text of the proposed directive, is available on the IJC’s web site at www.ijc.org, in Appendix 5 of the report Living with the Red, or from the IJC’s offices.

Contacts:
Frank Bevacqua Washington, D.C. (202) 736-9024
Fabien Lengellé Ottawa, Ontario (613) 995-0088
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