The International Joint Commission was asked by governments to examine air quality issues in the transboundary region several times going back to 1928, when the IJC looked at issues linked to emissions from the Trail Smelter in British Columbia. This was followed up in 1966, when the IJC looked into air quality issues in the Detroit-Windsor and Port Huron-Sarnia corridor, and drew governments’ attention to air pollution along the entire boundary region. That Michigan-Ontario region was also the focus of a 1975 request by governments for an annual report on the state of air quality in that same Sarnia to Detroit corridor, and a 1988 request to the IJC asked for a report on the hazards posed to humans and the environment from airborne emissions around Detroit and Windsor.
The IJC continues to report on air pollution issues that might impact the Great Lakes, under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. It also regularly issues a Synthesis of Public Comment on the government’s progress reports as part of its obligations under the Canada-United States Air Quality Agreement.