Great Lakes Water Quality Board
* Participated via teleconference
3.0 Review of Minutes and Action Items
3.1 Action Items
Gannon has not as yet organized the conference call with WQB sub-group interested in "next steps on WQB 2003 climate change" report. He spoke with Linda Morstch and she was glad to hear that WQB already sent a letter to LaMP coordinators, encouraging them to use the report on their biennial LaMP updates. She thinks that is where the follow-up is needed and recommends a face-to-face meeting between the WQB and LaMP coordinators to develop more specific recommendations on climate change-related actions that can be taken and to identify gaps in research and monitoring.
Action Item: Set up conference call of the WQB sub-group and Linda Morstch to discuss updates and approach to Climate Change report.
It was decided at the 170th meeting to have the WQB Areas of Concern (AOC) consultation in the Buffalo/Niagara region in early summer. But since the Boundary Waters Treaty centennial celebration is going to be held in 2009 in Niagara, the Board may want to re-think holding a consultation there in 2008.
It was suggested the Board may want to look into Lake Ontario as top choice and how many AOCs to include may be a matter of how ambitious the WQB wants to get and local interest.
Action Item: Contact Lake Ontario LaMP to inquire about interest level/receptivity in AOC Consultation. Ullrich and Melzer to explore possibilities and report back to WQB.
3.2 Minutes Content
It was enquired if the group was satisfied with the minutes style (verbatim transcription) and asked if they would prefer more of a summary format? The benefits of anonymity and accountability were weighed by the Board. Most members preferred the detailed approach, since the minutes are useful beyond the meeting itself for networking and communication
Action Item: Continue to provide a detailed set of minutes with attributions for internal purposes; action items only for public distribution.
4.0 2005-2007 Priorities
4.1 Land-Water Linkages Report
IJC student intern, Angad Bhullar, was introduced. He will be taking the four WQB Workshop reports and putting them into one. Mather, Boughton, Thompson and Ullrich previously agreed to assist as well.
Action Item: Prepare draft land-water linkages report for WQB review at its April WQB meeting.
4.2 Agreement Review Contracted Reports
In conjunction with activities related to giving advice to the Commission on the GLWQA, a series of reports were contracted by the Great Lakes Regional Office on behalf of the WQB. Some of the work is summarized in the 2003-2005 IJC Priorities Report, but most of the material remains unpublished. The intent of the reports is to provide information on physical and biological integrity, the ecosystem approach and other issues not well defined in the current Agreement. Dr. Kai Chen, Dr. Scudder Mackey, Dr. Jennifer Read, and Craig Mather were the contributors. These are reports to the WQB and do not necessarily reflect the views of the WQB; therefore, the reports will contain a standard disclaimer. Student intern, Angad Bhullar, is assisting Gannon in editing the reports for WQB review and approval for web-only posting on the IJC website. The intent is to have the full reports available for the government's Agreement review and use in possible negotiations on Agreement revisions.
Action Item: Distribute these reports to the WQB for review prior to posting on IJC website.
4.3 Urbanization Report
From the outset, the SAB has had the most involvement because this activity was largely an out-growth of their previous land use priority. There was concern with the earlier draft, including WQB input, that it insufficiently addressed the effects of the urban footprint on Great Lakes water quality. Dr. Ray Tomalty, University of Montreal, was contracted to revise the report and a copy of that version was distributed to the WQB prior to this meeting.
It was found that Dr. Tomalty did an impressive job of pulling together urbanization trends. There are specific recommendations for different levels of government, lots of good ideas in there, although many fall into a category of easier said than done. There are a lot of recommendations that are nice in theory, but tough in practice. It is a good report and excellent reference document.
Action Item: Provide comments in the form of language that can be inserted into the text and recommendations that the Commissioners can make. Comments are needed ASAP, February 29, 2008, deadline.
5.0 07-09 Priorities
5.1 Procedural Issues
It was noted that the WQB wrote a letter to the other Agreement Boards Co-chairs suggesting leads from the boards, not IJC staff, on the 07-09 priorities. The SAB concurred, appointed SAB Co-chairs and suggested that the WQB do the same.
The Nominated WQB Co-chars for the Priorities were:
Action Item: Gannon to attend March 10th scoping session of fish consumption sub-group and report back to WQB.
5.2 Priorities Update
Eutrophication: This group has not met pending outcome of the Nearshore Framework Expert Consultation which thus far has emphasized eutrophication most.
Action Item: Arrange conference call with eutrophication sub-group co-chairs.
Nearshore Framework: The over-arching activity for the 07-09 priorities is the Nearshore Waters Framework that commenced with the scoping session workshop last November. WQB members were reminded that the draft report for the November Workshop was circulated in December with a very short turn-around time for comments. The scoping session report likely will be at least an appendix to the final report of this activity, so that is why Gannon encouraged WQB members to provide further comments, if any.
Action Item: Review November nearshore workshop report; forward comments to Angad Bhullar.
7.0 Other Business
New biennial reporting process: Weiner noted that starting with the 10th Biennial Report, the reports have gotten away from reporting on Agreement process, (Article VII of the Agreement). The Commission would like the board's assistance in obtaining the necessary information for the Commission to use in assessing Agreement progress. While working on the 2007-2009 Priorities, the WQB and SAB work should be done so that it is useful for the 15th Biennial Report in 2010. While conducting 07-09 activities, the boards are being asked to obtain trends information. The Biennial meeting will be pushed back to fall (held in June during the last two cycles) so that the draft Biennial Report will be ready in time for the meeting. The 15th Biennial Report may be based on the reports of the five priorities groups. The June, 2007 directive circulated by Commissioner may need to be circulated again to new members.
Action Item: Circulate June directive from the Commissioners on 07-09 Priorities to WQB members.