Toledo Drinking Water Crisis

Algae blooms in Lake Erie creating toxic release poisoning area water supplies, namely Toledo Ohio. IJC reports:

“It is unacceptable that nutrient pollution has been allowed to contaminate Lake Erie so significantly that the drinking water for more than 500,000 northwestern Ohio residents has been compromised. In the wake of this crisis, federal and state agencies will have an opportunity to act to stem the flow of nutrients into Lake Erie. We urge agencies to learn from this crisis and act swiftly. A great place to start is enacting the recommendations put forth by the International Joint Commission in their report released this spring, “A Balanced Diet for Lake Erie: Reducing Phosphorus Loadings and Harmful Algal Blooms.” Delaying action will only cause continued harm to the lake and more crises like the one Toledo is facing today.”

 

https://www.greatlakes.org/ToledoWaterCrisis

IJC releases draft of plan for Lake of the Woods | Kenora Daily Miner and News

Excerpt on efforts of IJC on Lake level issues resolution:

“We would like to thank the experts working in the basin on these issues, the International Multi Agency Arrangement partners, the International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board and its community and industry advisory groups and Canadian and U.S. indigenous communities for their contribution to the draft water quality plan of study,” said the board’s Canadian study co-chairman Glenn Benoy.

The over 100-page plan is quite detailed and lays out the principles and approaches to be taken while studying the many issues facing the Lake of the Woods basin on both sides of the border.

It includes frameworks with how to interact and involve all of the different governments, communities, private interest and First Nations, which all have a stake in the lake and the research being done.

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Legislators more confident after D.C. face-time

Property owners and sport fishing industry voice their concerns to Senators about the IJC Plan 2014 for Great Lakes. Stakeholders have forum with aid of International Joint Commission. Excerpt follows:

“In a conference call with county leaders, Johnson said they stressed their concerns about the plan and its impacts on the southwestern shoreline with legislative aides to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Sen. Charles Schumer.

“It was apparent they were well-versed on the subject,” Johnson said,” and they indicated that they feel no decisions should be made in the short-term … it was a very productive hour.”

Later, Collins’ office hosted the delegates for a meeting with representatives from the State Department’s Office of Canadian Affairs and Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, two groups who will weigh in when the federal government considers the Lake Ontario water level regulation plan.

Godfrey said Collins backed their opposition.

“He told them (Plan 2014) is in violation of the IJC charter, that no plan should result in disproportionate loss to any area from the plan,” Godfrey said. “It needs to be thrown out, let’s not waste any more time on it.”

Johnson said the trip was successful in presenting a view countering the IJC’s, which she said was based on out-of-date info — from the use of old Census data to documents addressing how the plan would effect the long-gone Fast Ferry between Rochester and Toronto.

“Our mission was to tell them that their study group has outdated information,” Johnson said. “I think we really educated them.”

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Plan to regulate Lake Ontario water levels amounts to government taking private property (Your letters) | syracuse.com

 Editorial on the 2014 Plan for the Great Lakes:

“As a Lake Ontario shoreline property owner, I appreciate your “sympathy” for “those … negatively affected” by the International Joint Commission’s currentPlan 2014. A new paradigm must be accepted here. The lake, thanks to the IJC, has been turned into a huge reservoir. It is no longer a “natural … waterway.” Those who will be benefiting the most will be the New York Power Authority, the shipping Industry, the St. Lawrence River Valley and Montreal. All four will make or save money on an annual basis. The New York state lake shoreline will pay for it, and annually. Among those who will be negatively affected, or compromised, include 10,000 properties (business and private) on the New York lake shore, and towns, cities and counties.

The IJC has revealed that the Plan will result in 95 percent of the total damage and cost falling on the New York shoreline annually. That “95 percent” was not represented on the IJC Commission, nor in the formulation of the plan. The County of Oswego has over $2 billion in assessments on properties along the lake shore (not counting the nukes); that’s $80 million plus in property and school taxes at risk. That’s hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes along the New York lake shore overall. Even 10 percent losses would be catastrophic to localities. Despite IJC wishful thinking and denial, there will be immense repercussions and unexpected consequences from Plan 2014, on all New Yorkers.”

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Senators urge Kerry to fight Lake Huron nuke waste dump

US and Canadian governments must petition International Joint Commission ( IJC) to mitigate matter of building nuclear waste dump near Lake Huron.
According to the Daily Tribune: 

“US. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin are pushing Secretary of State John Kerry to fight the Canadian government’s plan to build a huge nuclear waste dump near the Lake Huron shoreline.”

‘Site will be located in Kincardine Ontario less than mile from lake shore north of Blue in Port Huron.’

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CBCNews.ca Mobile

More on IJC action to balance lake levels along the US Canadian border:

The International Joint Commission has already ordered companies operating dams on Rainy Lake and nearby Namakan Lake to increase outflow from the lakes to increase their capacity.

While the IJC is concerned about the deep snow pack this year — and the amount of water it contains — spokesperson Matthew DeWolfe said the main consideration will be how much rain falls in the coming weeks.

“If it all happens at once, obviously there’s much more water than can be handled by the dam operations and the lake goes up much more quickly than would be preferred,” said the Canadian engineering adviser to the International Joint Commission’s International Rainy – Lake Of The Woods Watershed Board.

“The most important factor in determining what the peak levels will be in the spring and heading into early summer is not the snow pack, historically. It’s the amount of rainfall that comes.”

The good news is that the shorter-term forecast does not indicate much precipitation, however “the snow pack is really significant this year,” DeWolfe continued. “It’s much higher than it’s been for many, many years, and there’s a lot of water content there.”

Adjusting water levels in lakes is a balancing act, as releasing too much water at this point could mean those lake levels won’t get back to normal by summer.

The two power companies affected by the recent orders are H20 Power on the Canadian side of the lakes, and Boise Inc. on the American side.

http://www.cbc.ca/m/news/#!/content/1.2601129

IJC fighting to save Lake Erie

Hidden costs of algae bloom to consumers. Here is excerpt from article:

“In cases where harmful algae blooms (HABs) appear, municipal water treatment facilities drawing water supplies from Lake Erie may need to carry out additional treatment before the water is safe for human consumption,” the report said.

It noted that a survey of 15 public water systems in Ohio showed that 10 used additional treatments on lake water as a result of HABs. 

“These treatments included the application of powdered activated carbon, chlorine dioxide, and potassium permanganate. Additional control costs totaled $417,200 for the 10 water utilities, ranging from individual plant costs of $400 to $240,000. It is important to note that algal bloom events of 2009 were less severe than in 2011, and as such, these costs can be seen as a conservative estimate,” the report said. 

Ratepayers are wary of the issue, as well. “Public concerns about the impact of HABs on drinking water in Lake Erie were heightened in the summer of 2013,” the report said. 

Lake Erie has not always faced such tough health problems. “Once a success story about how a polluted lake can be brought back to life, [it] is once again struggling to survive,” CBC News reported. 

The IJC is trying to fight for the lake. Along with releasing the report, the body “announced an ambitious plan to improve the water quality in Lake Erie,” according to The State Column. 

It proposed “a 46 percent cut in the average annual phosphorus load in Lake Erie’s central and western basins to reduce the hypoxic dead zone, and a 39 percent cut in the average annual phosphorus contributed by the Maumee River to reduce harmful algal blooms,” Circle Of Blue reported. 

The group tried to make sure its recommendations would actually go somewhere. 

“The Commission recommended achieving those reductions by applying Public Trust Doctrine legal principles to write and enforce restrictions that have been unattainable using conventional regulation,” the report said. ”

http://www.wateronline.com/doc/algae-blooms-threaten-lake-erie-0001