Pursuant to the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909, responsibilities have been conferred on the Commission under a 1955 Reference from the governments of Canada and the United States with respect to the improvement of the use, conservation and regulation of the waters of the St. Croix River basin, and the Commission has issued Orders with respect to works in the St. Croix River in 1915, 1923, 1931, 1934, 1965 and 1982.
This directive replaces the September 27, 2000, directive to the former International St. Croix River Board, which will now be known as the International St. Croix River Watershed Board, reporting to the International Joint Commission.
The Board's mandate is to proactively assist the Commission in preventing and in resolving disputes regarding the boundary waters of the St. Croix River, to monitor the ecological health of the St. Croix River boundary waters aquatic ecosystem, and to ensure compliance with the Commission's Orders of Approval for structures in the St. Croix River. The Board shall seek to involve local stakeholders in resolving local problems locally, per the integrated approach laid out by the governments of Canada and the United States in their 1998 Reference.
The Board's duties shall be to:
- recommend, as appropriate, water quality or aquatic ecosystem health objectives for the boundary waters of the St. Croix River, and maintain continuous surveillance over the quality of water and health of the St. Croix River boundary waters aquatic ecosystem;
- carry out such inspections, evaluations, and assessments as the Board considers necessary, or as the Commission directs, to ascertain the extent to which water quality objectives are being met and the state of health of the boundary waters aquatic ecosystem;
- keep the Commission informed of boundary waters aquatic conditions measured by indicators of aquatic ecosystem health used by the Board, and plans, policies, and developments, actual or anticipated, which have the potential to affect the quantity and quality of the water and the health of the St. Croix boundary waters aquatic ecosystem;
- work with appropriate regulatory and enforcement agencies to ensure that water quality and aquatic ecosystem health objectives are met, obtain assurance that appropriate and timely corrective action will be taken when objectives are not met, and inform the Commission of actions taken and any further action the Board deems advisable;
- ensure compliance with the terms of the Orders of Approval relating to the construction, operation, and maintenance of structures affecting water levels and flows in the St. Croix River (Forest City, Vanceboro, Grand Falls, and Milltown dams);
- inform the companies owning the dams immediately whenever, in the opinion of the Board, the terms of the Orders of Approval are not being complied with, and make such recommendations as the Board considers appropriate; further, at the earliest opportunity, report to the Commission such apparent lack of compliance with an Order of Approval, the circumstances in which it occurred, the action taken by the Board, and the action, if any, taken by or on behalf of the companies owning the dams;
- maintain awareness of basin-wide developments and conditions which might affect water quantity and quality and ecosystem health, and the people living within the St. Croix River watershed, and recommend appropriate strategies to the Commission;
- coordinate activities with appropriate agencies and institutions both within and outside the St. Croix River watershed as may be needed or desirable; involve the public in the work of the Board, facilitate provision of timely and pertinent information on Board activities within the watershed in the most appropriate manner including electronic means, such as the Board's page on the IJC website, and conduct an annual public meeting in the St. Croix River watershed;
- submit a written annual report to the Commission, at least three weeks in advance of the Commission's spring semi-annual meeting and no later than March 31, and submit such other reports as the Commission may request or the Board may desire.
The Board shall consist of a United States Section and a Canadian Section, comprising an equal number of members from each country. The Commission shall normally appoint each member for a three-year term. Members may serve for more than one term. Members shall act in their personal and professional capacity, and not as representatives of their countries, agencies, or institutions. The Commission shall appoint one member from each Section to be chair of that Section, normally for a term of two years. The Commission will strive to appoint chairs with complementary expertise that encompasses a broad spectrum of watershed concerns.
At the request of any member, the Commission may appoint an alternate member to act in the place and stead of such member whenever the said member, for any reason, is not available to act as a member of the Board.
The chairs of the two Sections shall be co-chairs of the Board and shall be responsible for maintaining proper liaison between the Board and the Commission, and between their respective sections of the Board and the corresponding sections of the Commission.
Chairs shall ensure that all members of the Board are informed of all instructions, inquiries, and authorizations received from the Commission and also of activities undertaken by or on behalf of the Board, progress made, and any developments affecting such progress.
A chair, after consulting the members of his/her Section of the Board, shall appoint a secretary of the Section. Under the general supervision of the chair(s), the secretary(ies) shall carry out such duties as are assigned by the chairmen or the Board as a whole.
The Board may establish such committees and working groups as may be required to discharge its responsibilities effectively. The Commission shall be kept informed of the duties and composition of any committee or working group. Unless other arrangements are made, members of the Board, committees, or working groups will make their own arrangements for reimbursement of necessary expenditures for travel.
The chairs shall keep the Commission currently informed of the Board's plans and progress and of any developments or cost impediments, actual or anticipated, which are likely to impede, delay, or otherwise affect the carrying out of the Board's responsibilities.
The Board shall inform the Commission in advance of plans for any meetings, or other means of involving the public in Board deliberations, and report to the Commission on these meetings in its annual reports or in other reports as the situation warrants.
Reports shall normally be available only to the Commission and to members of the Board and its committees until their release has been authorized by the Commission. Annual reports, however, shall be an exception: the Board shall produce annual reports in a format suitable for public release (ideally via the Board's page on the IJC website as well as via printed copy) and shall make annual reports available to the public upon request normally one week after formal receipt by the Commission at its Spring semi-annual meeting unless directed otherwise by the Commission.
The Board shall provide, in a timely manner, the text of media releases and other public information materials to the Secretaries of the Commission for quick review by the Commission's Public Information Officers, prior to their release. If, in the opinion of the Board or of any member, there is a lack of clarity or precision in any instruction, directive, or authorization received from the Commission, the matter shall be referred promptly to the Commission for appropriate action. In the event of any disagreement among the members of the Board which they are unable to resolve, the Board shall refer the matter forthwith to the Commission for decision.
The Commission may amend existing instructions or issue new instructions to the Board at any time.
Signed this 19th day of April 2007.
Secretary United States Section
Secretary Canadian Section