IJC establishes International Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River Public Interest Advisory Group


The International Joint Commission (IJC) announced today that to further public participation in a study to evaluate options for regulating levels and flows in the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River system it has established an International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Public Interest Advisory Group. Commissioners have appointed 22 of the group’s proposed 24 members, including the U.S. and Canadian co-chairs.

The Public Interest Advisory Group or PIAG will provide public involvement guidance, consultation and assistance to the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Study Board, and periodically report on its work to the International Joint Commission. The Study Board, appointed by the IJC earlier this month, is responsible for conducting the study of the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River system.

The PIAG will have 12 U.S. and 12 Canadian members. Appointments made by the IJC to date include: Mr. Dalton Foster, Massena, N.Y., U.S. Co-chair and Mr. Fred Parkinson, Montreal, Quebec, Canadian Co-chair, Dr. Daniel Barletta, Rochester, N.Y.; Mr. Bruce Carpenter, Rome, N.Y.; Mr. John Hall, Burlington, ON; Ms. Marjorie Hare, Toronto, ON; Mr. Marc Hudon, Quebec, PQ ; Mr. Eben James, Trenton, ON; Mr. Elaine Kennedy, Cornwall, ON and Michel Lamontagne, Montreal, PQ.

And, Mr. Ivan Lantz, Quebec, PQ ; Ms. Sandra Lawn, Prescott, ON; Mr. Thomas McAuslan, Oswego, N.Y. ; Mr. Anthony McKenna, Olcott, N.Y.; Mr. John Osinski (NYPA); Ms. Beatrice Schermerhorn, Hammond, N.Y.; Ms. Sally Sessler, Syracuse, N.Y.; Mr. Max Streibel, Greece, N.Y.; Mr. Michel Turgeon, Montreal, PQ ; Mr. Paul Webb, Cornwall, ON; Ms. Stephanie Weiss, Clayton. N.Y. and Mr. Al Will, Dundas, ON.

The PIAG and Study Board will work independently of the International St. Lawrence River Board of Control, which is responsible for overseeing the regulation of the outflows from Lake Ontario.

It has been nearly 50 years since a comprehensive assessment was performed of water levels and flows regulation in the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River system. In April 1999, dissatisfaction with the working of the system on the part of some interests and environmental concerns and climate change issues prompted the IJC to inform the U.S. and Canadian governments that it was becoming increasingly urgent to review the regulation of Lake Ontario outflows.

In making its decision to re-examine the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River system, the IJC also acknowledged that the study may not resolve all the issues or result in significant additional benefits for any interest group.

The International Joint Commission was created under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to help prevent and resolve disputes over the use of waters along the Canada-United States boundary. Its responsibilities include approving certain projects that would change the natural levels and flows of boundary waters, such as the international hydropower project at Massena, New York and Cornwall, Ontario. If it approves a project, the IJC's Order of Approval may require that the flows and water levels resulting from the project meet certain conditions to protect the interests in both countries.

For more information, visit the IJC's web site at www.ijc.org.

Contacts: Fabien Lengellé Ottawa, Ontario (613) 995-0088 Mike Scanlin Washington, D.C. (202) 736-9103