IJC to stage panel discussion, gather feedback on Lake Erie’s algal bloom woes | Windsor Star

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IJC Acting Canadian co-chairman Gordon Walker will moderate the panel discussion.

“Lake Erie is clearly in trouble,” Walker said. “We need an active and informed citizenry as well as commitment from all levels of government to fix the problems.

http://blogs.windsorstar.com/news/ijc-to-stage-panel-discussion-gather-feedback-on-lake-eries-algal-bloom-woes

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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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Legislators bash IJC plan, say measure will harm county – The Palladium-Times : Front Page Continued

From Palladium:

“County legislators passed a resolution Thursday urging the U.S. Congress to reject a recent proposal that some officials worry could increase erosion and cause property damage along the shores of Lake Ontario.”

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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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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

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

Moses Saunders dam

Direct from the IJC: “Last updated more than 50 years ago, the plan for managing flow operations at the Moses Saunders dam at Cornwall, Ontario and Massena, NY has provided flood control benefits for upstream and downstream communities, more stable water levels for shipping, recreational boating and drinking water intakes, and dependable flows for hydropower production. However, the flow manangement practices have also degraded the environment of Lake Ontario and the Upper St. Lawrence River.

The International Joint Commission’s (IJC) proposal will restore more natural patterns of water-level fluctuation and improve conditions in wetlands and aquatic habitat for fish, birds and other animals in the coastal and nearshore zones of the lake and upper river. It will also continue to manage levels for shoreline communities and other interests on Lake Ontario by reducing the occurrence of high and low water levels to nearly the same degree as the 1950s plan. The proposal will provide for a small increase in the generation of clean hydroelectric power and maintains the current benefits for downstream communities and economic activities in Quebec. The proposal includes an adaptive management strategy which will be implemented over time to provide systematic monitoring and performance assessment, and help communities adapt to changing conditions.

The Lake Ontario –St. Lawrence River proposal for regulation includes five elementsis that are described in detail in accompanying pages: Order Criteria and Conditions; Regulation Plan; Deviations Directive; Board Directive; and Adaptive Management. 

The International Joint Commission may further revise the proposal, including the new regulation plan, based on comments received during the public review process, and will then seek the concurrence of the federal governments of Canada and the United States prior to implementation.”

Controversy continues between stakeholders. Go to IJC WEBSITE to down load Plan 2014.

http://www.ijc.org/en_/losl/Proposal