Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement Review 2007
Final Agreement Review Report Approved by the Binational Executive Committee
At their September 26-27, 2007 meeting in Toronto, the Canada-U.S. Binational Executive Committee (BEC) approved the final Agreement Review Report, noting that it accurately reflected the deliberations and findings of the review participants and that it satisfied the mandate to undertake the required technical review of the operation and effectiveness of the current Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. In giving their approval, the BEC noted that it was consistently impressed by the level of involvement, passion, ideas and commitment concerning the Great Lakes and the Agreement review process in particular.
The Review Report is organized into three volumes:
- Volume 1: The Agreement Review Committee Report (PDF) (63 pp, 487K)
- Volume 2: Review Working Group Reports (PDF) (449 pp, 2.8MB)
- Volume 3: Compendium of Comments received during the public consultation period (PDF) (161 pp, 2.5MB)
The Review Report was prepared in fulfillment of Article X, Section 4 of the Canada-U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA), which requires the Parties to the Agreement (governments of Canada and the United States) to conduct a comprehensive review of the operation and effectiveness of this Agreement following every third biennial report of the International Joint Commission (IJC).
Canada and the United States commenced the required binational review in January 2004 with the development of a publicly acceptable review process.
The Review itself was conducted through a series of binationally co-chaired Review Working Groups (RWGs) comprised of over 350 federal, provincial, state and non-government issue experts and non-experts alike, representing a broad cross-section of the Great Lakes community. Similarly, a workshop was conducted in November 2006 to review governance and institutional aspects of the Agreement. The findings of this report were included in the Agreement Review Report.
Since the review operated under the guiding principles of openness, inclusiveness and transparency, the Agreement Review Report represents a synthesis of the findings, results and recommendations from the wide range of views represented in the RWGs and the Workshop. Therefore, the views expressed in the Agreement Review Report are not necessarily the views of the Government of Canada or the Government of the United States of America, their Departments or Agencies, the States or Provinces or of any other organization or entity.
Before the report was finalized, the BEC endorsed the release of a draft for a 60-day public consultation period that ran from May 14 to July 14 2007. A total of forty-six sets of comments were submitted by a variety of Great Lakes stakeholders during the sixty-day public consultation period. Some suggested changes that clarified and strengthened the Agreement Review Report were incorporated (all the comments received are available in volume 3 of the final Report). The revised Report was presented to the BEC at their September 26-27, 2007 meeting in Toronto where their approval was given.
The final Agreement Review Report will be transmitted by the BEC to the two Governments in the fall of 2007. At this point, the required technical review of the operation and effectiveness of the current Agreement will be considered completed. The two Governments will then determine next steps for the Agreement, including whether or not it will be revised. It is important to note that the mandated review of the GLWQA does not require nor commit the Governments to revising, amending, renegotiating, or modifying the Agreement in any manner.
For further information, please contact:
USEPA-Great Lakes National Program Office
Great Lakes Environment Office
Environment Canada - Ontario