Great Lakes Water Quality Board
* By teleconference
4.0 WQB 2007-2009 Proposed Activities, Budget, Participants
The Nearshore Framework write-up provides important overarching issues that are not articulated nor do they appear in discussions of the five priority issues. It was suggested that the Board consider the following:
There was a consensus of the Board that more time is needed to have a good discussion and good output for comprehensive workshop as outlined in the briefing package. The time on November 19-20 would be better spent as a scoping session on the nearshore issue in the context of the Agreement. The scoping session will address IJC advice on the nearshore largely from a binational policy perspective, and issues raised will also inform the scope and direction.
Action Item: Draft a memo for WQB Co-chairs to the Commission for discussion at their executive meeting. The letter will be short and sweet, recommending two workshops, an initial scoping session followed by an expert consultation workshop.
The first workshop (November 19-20, 2007) will have the objective of giving advice to governments by the end of this calendar year on the nearshore in the context of the Agreement.
The second will be the expert consultation workshop to be held early 2008. Gannon will start the draft letter this weekend so that the Board will have something early Monday morning for review. It will be carbon copied to the Co-chairs of the other Agreement boards.
Mining information for the scoping session was further discussed. Boughton noted that the WQB work of the past several years needs to be synthesized in time for the scoping session. Gannon stated that Boughton, Mather and Thompson previously agreed to assist with this task.
Action Item: Distribute pertinent documents to Boughton, Mather and Thompson to synthesis pertaining information for the scoping session and the Board's 05-07 WQB report.
WQB Membership in GLWQA Priorities Work Groups
The Board discussed the representatives that have volunteered to work on each of the six priorities and there were questions on who would take the lead as the WQB would not be responsible. The members wondered if this structure was workable? Can it successfully be left to a work group? Members felt that direction should come from a lead Board, since working groups can be unwieldy, and there might be a need for something more structured for setting objectives. It was suggested that the WQB should express concern that a lead convener should be assigned to each of the six priorities.
Action Item: Draft memo from WQB Co-chairs to other boards' Co-chairs and GLRO Director recommending a lead convener for each of the six priorities.
It was noted that the WQB initially wanted to focus on fewer priorities and, therefore, no WQB member is listed for fish consumption or emerging chemicals. It was noted that the WQB is supposed to be the overarching board in the Agreement, so at a minimum, there should be at least two WQB people who can report to the board on each priority. Co-Chairs agreed with the proposition that the Board needs to be represented on all six priorities.
The following volunteers came forward:
Action Item: Circulate a list after the meeting, to confirm WQB members on each of the six priorities on the matrix table.
7.0 WQB Climate Change Report
Gannon said that he joined the IJC Great Lakes Regional Office in Fall 2002, and at that time the WQB's main priority activity was contracting white papers on climate change, conducting a climate change workshop in Detroit, MI in May, 2003 and issuing a climate change report in August, 2003. The theme of the report was adaptation to climate change in the Great Lakes. Climate change is an overarching cross-cutting issue for the 2007-2009 priorities. Gannon said that he attended a climate change workshop and a national climate change conference, early summer and at both meetings, the WQB report was highlighted one of the first to address adaptation. The authors of the WQB white papers in the report were Linda Mortsch (Environment Canada) and Joel Scheraga (EPA). Gannon had opportunities to speak to Linda when she briefed the SAB on climate change last December and to Joel when he briefed the IJC Commissioners last May. Both said that, although some material was dated, the WQB report still contains mostly relevant information, especially the recommendations. Besides brief reference to the report in the IJC 11th Biennial Report on Great Lakes Water Quality and a summary of it in the IJC 2001-2003 Priorities Report, the report has not received any attention by the IJC or governments. Gannon suggested, since climate change is now on the public conscience in both countries, that it may be timely for the WQB to do something to raise the report to the attention of the Commission, governments and the public.
Action Item: Compose draft letter from the WQB Co-chairs to the LaMP Co-chairs with a reminder that the document exist and encourage them to use it in their ongoing LaMP activities and updates.
Action Item: Draft similar letter from WQB Co-chairs to IJC 2007-2009 Nearshore Priority sub-groups and encourage them to use the report in their ongoing activities.
Action Item: Contact Linda Morstch and Joel Scheraga and WQB members to determine next steps in updating the 2003 WQB report with timelines and next budgets in time for discussion at the next WQB meeting.
9.0 Next meeting
Gannon encouraged the Board to schedule the meetings in advance so that members/associates can obtain the necessary travel approvals. The following was agreed upon:
Action Item: Contact WQB members and finalize dates for two teleconference meetings the remainder of 2007 and the face-to-face meeting in conjunction with the IJC Spring Semi-Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.