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GLIN==> The IJC to Hold Public Meeting on the Status Assessment of the St. Lawrence River AOC

International Joint Commission Begins 
Environmental Status Assessment of the St. Lawrence River 
and Schedules Public Meeting

	The International Joint Commission (IJC) is beginning an assessment
of government efforts to restore and protect the St. Lawrence River Area of
Concern (AOC).  To initiate this assessment, the IJC has scheduled a public
meeting on Wednesday, March 28, 2001, from 6:30 - 9 p.m. at the Best Western
Parkway Inn and Conference Centre, 1515 Vincent Massey Drive, Cornwall,
Ontario.  The purpose of the meeting is to receive information from the
various Canadian and U.S. agencies on the efforts that are being made in
both countries to clean up the river and to hear the comments of the public.

	The United States and Canada, in cooperation with state and
provincial governments, agreed to develop and implement Remedial Action
Plans (RAPs) for 42 identified Areas of Concern, such as the St. Lawrence
River, where pollution problems have degraded the waterway.  Each RAP is to
embody a systematic and comprehensive ecosystem approach to restoring and
protecting beneficial uses in its respective Area of Concern.  In the St.
Lawrence River Area, each country has developed a RAP for its portion of the

	The IJC's status assessment is not an environmental audit, but an
assessment of the ongoing efforts of the responsible governments and
organizations toward cleaning up the river.  It will examine progress toward
restoration and protection of beneficial uses as listed under Annex 2 of the
Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement; assess program implementation relative
to remedial and preventive actions; and identify and make recommendations on
specific activities that could be taken to overcome obstacles and make
measurable progress in restoring uses of the river.

	The IJC was established by the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty of the
United States and Canada.  The treaty recognizes that each country is
affected by the other's actions in the lake and river systems along their
common border.  Under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement the two
countries have committed to work together and the IJC is called on to review
and comment on the progress of programs, such as RAPs, developed to restore
and protect the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. 
	Additional consultations will take place later this year to follow
up on information received at the public meeting.  In addition, the IJC will
be hosting a Public Forum on Great Lakes - St. Lawrence River Water Quality
in Montréal on September 14-15, 2001.  This meeting will host workshops
addressing many issues impacting Areas of Concern, such as a full day
workshop specifically dealing with RAP issues;  the deposition of mercury
from the air to our water; and community health impacts from pollution in
Areas of Concern.  Additional information can be obtained on the IJC website
at  www.ijc.org 


Conducted by:
the International Joint Commission in cooperation with:
Environment Canada
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Ontario Ministry of Environment   	
NY State Department of Environmental Conservation

6:30 p.m.  	Welcome

*	Comments by Kathleen Callahan, Acting Deputy Regional Administrator,
U.S. EPA, Region II

*	Comments by Simon Llewellyn, Director of Environmental Conservation
Branch, Ontario Region, Environment Canada

	Annex 2 of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and the
International Joint Commission's Status Assessments 

*	Annex 2 Remedial Action Plan Goals -Bruce Kirschner, IJC 	

		Progress Toward Restoration of Beneficial Uses
*	Activities at Cornwall, Ontario - Remedial Action Plan Overview,
Highlights of Implementation Activities and the Contaminated Sediment Issue

*	Activities at Massena, New York - Overview of Remedial Action Plan
Activities, Contaminated Sediment Sites and GM Land-Based Remediation, and
ALCOA and Reynolds Land-Based Remediation  
		Discussion of Remaining Challenges in the Area of Concern
and Public Comments
7:45 p.m.		Public Comments and Questions

9:00 p.m. 	Closing Comments

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