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Johnson said the trip was successful in presenting a view countering the IJC’s, which she said was based on out-of-date info — from the use of old Census data to documents addressing how the plan would effect the long-gone Fast Ferry between Rochester and Toronto.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

Ice and snow help slow evaporation of water on Great Lakes. Ice slows commercial traffic but it also means waters levels will be up.

“A brutally cold winter has covered the Great Lakes with more ice than they have seen since 1979. Special correspondent Elizabeth Bracket of WTTW reports on the struggle to keep shipping lanes open to Chicago’s ice-clogged harbor to Lake Michigan.”

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/coping-with-exceptional-ice-great-lakes/

River institute head named co-chair of science committee – News – Cornwall Seaway News

Ridal joins four other local scientists including Henry Lickers, environmental science officer with the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne. Matthew Thompson, environmental resource co-ordinator from the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and Clarkson University biologist Dr. Michael R. Twiss. 

“I am looking forward to having this unique opportunity to work with dedicated scientists for the benefit of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River in this new role,” said Ridal.

http://m.cornwallseawaynews.com/News/2014-03-17/article-3653034/River-institute-head-named-co-chair-of-science-committee/1

Controversies – Only Half of Chemical Contaminants in Great Lakes are Removed by Treatment Plants – AllGov – News

The International Joint Commission releases a new report on the health of the Great Lakes. Excerpts from the report:

Noting that the focus of environmental monitoring has recently “shifted to an array of recently discovered compounds known as ‘chemicals of emerging concern’,” the report states that CECs are “found in products used daily in households, businesses, agriculture and industry, such as flame retardants, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and pesticides.”

To determine how well wastewater treatment plants on the Great Lakes are handling CECs, IJC conducted a study from 2009 to 2011 of their operations and of the effectiveness of various wastewater treatment technologies at removing 42 specific CECs.

The study found that six chemicals (an herbicide, an anti-seizure drug, two antibiotics, an antibacterial drug and an anti-inflammatory drug) were detected frequently and had a low rate of removal in treated effluent, while five more had a low rate of removal, but not frequent detection. The main finding was that “at least half of the 42 substances examined…are likely to be removed in municipal wastewater treatment plants.”

http://www.allgov.com/news/controversies/only-half-of-chemical-contaminants-in-great-lakes-are-removed-by-treatment-plants-131124?news=851740

Lake Huron nuclear waste dump questioned by officials – News – Voice News

Jim Bloch reports on concerns about sitting nuclear waste near the Great Lakes. Here is an excerpt from The Voice:

‘This resolution uses similar language as the state of Michigan Senate Resolution 58, which does not outright oppose OPG’s proposed deep underground nuclear dump, but does raise serious concerns about its proximity to the Great Lakes, and quotes Michigan law that would prohibit such a dump in that location,” said Kay Cumbow, an anti-nuclear activist who advocated for the St. Clair County resolution.

The county resolution echoes much of the Senate resolution: “As part of an effort to protect water quality, Michigan’s siting criteria for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste prohibits any site located within ten miles of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, the Saint Mary’s River, the Detroit River, the St. Clair River, or Lake St. Clair. It also excludes sites located within a 500-year floodplain, located over a sole source aquifer, or located where the hydrogeology beneath the site discharges groundwater to the land surface within 3,000 feet of the boundaries of the site.”

But the county board is somewhat softer that the Michigan Senate in its recommendations to OPG and Canadian officials.

“We encourage Canada to consider similar siting criteria,” the Senate resolution said.’
For more go to:

http://www.voicenews.com/articles/2013/08/30/news/doc5220b8aaad015274882554.txt?viewmode=fullstory

winner & losers on low water levels

In response to the Another Voice column by Jim Howe of the Nature Conservancy, impact of

Excerpt form Buffalo News article by Dan Barletta.

Another round of discussion on impact of low water levels on Lake Ontario.

”   Further in his essay, Howe cites dollar values that seem to say that this aberrant plan would provide millions of dollars in benefits. What he fails to state is that the low water periods would be devastating to the $94 million-per-year sports fishing industry along the south shore, or that the estimates for property damage along this shore have been shown to be two-to-three times greater than the plan states.

Most private property damage is undervalued and damage to public lands and infrastructure is not even evaluated. Water intakes, sewer systems, roads, bridges, power lines and other sensitive infrastructure might be at risk from drastic man-made level changes on both the high and low side.

An example of the failure of the commission to properly evaluate the potential economic losses is in the Town of Somerset. This town has more than $400 million in public assets that were not included in the damage estimates in the original study by the IJC.

This plan was created behind closed doors with the environmental interests and no other interest allowed in. We commend the elected representatives of the province of Quebec for standing up to the IJC and stating that they would not accept any more damage than what occurs to their part of the system under the current plan. But we are dismayed that New York State representatives would allow this damage to occur to their citizens. The IJC needs to return to the drawing board and come back with a more represented plan.

Dan Barletta is Monroe County director of the Lake Ontario Riparian Alliance. He was a member of the International Joint Commission’s Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Study.”

By Dan Barletta

http://www.buffalonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130806/OPINION/130809561/1074