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In 1914, the International Joint Commission approved the diversion of water
from the St. Marys River for power generation purposes in Canada and the
United States and the construction of a gated control structure (the
Compensating Works) across the St. Marys River.  The Commission, through its
International Lake Superior Board of Control, regulates the outflows of Lake
Superior.  Outflows were originally determined primarily by considering the
impact on water levels in Lake Superior.  However, the Commission changed
its Orders and regulation plan in the 1970's to also take into account water
levels on Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.  This change provided benefits
throughout the Great Lakes system.

In a report published in 1993, the Commission stated that it would review
the its Orders of Approval for Lake Superior and Lake Ontario. These reviews
would determine if the current regulation criteria are consistent with the
current uses, needs  and interests in the system. Studies regarding Lake
Ontario outflow regulation are currently underway.

Commission Plans 
The Commission intends to initiate the development of a Plan of Study to
more fully examine and describe the studies required to review the Orders
and regulation plan for Lake Superior outflows.

Development of the Plan of Study would include consideration of:

1- the degree of anthropogenic or human control currently available as
compared to natural levels and flows
2- impacts of water-level regulation on current interests, considering
demographic changes and enhanced understanding of the environment since the

3- relationships between water-level regulation and coastline erosion, a
particular concern on Lake Michigan; and

4- climate change and variability in light of studies indicating that the
current regulation plan may not be capable of addressing the changes that
might occur.
In developing the Plan of Study, the Commission will be able to take
advantage of technological advances made since the 1970's, to draw on
knowledge gained through the planning and conduct of the ongoing study to
review Lake Ontario outflow regulation, and to make the appropriate linkages
between the Lake Ontario outflow study and the Lake Superior outflow study.
Such linkages will help achieve efficiencies and develop an appropriate
framework for more systemic consideration of the Great Lakes.
The Commission will hold public consultation sessions in the following
cities  to provide interested members of the public with an opportunity to
be heard on this important matter.

June 25, 2001	
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Holiday Inn
208 St. Mary's River Dr.
7 p.m.

June 26, 2001
Sarnia, Ontario
The Guildwood Inn Best Western
1400 Venetian Blvd.
7 p.m.
June 27, 2001
Port Severn, Ontario
The Inn at Christie's Mill
263 Port Severn Road North
7 p.m.

July 9, 2001 	
Duluth, Minnesota
Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites
200 West First Street
7 p.m.

July 10, 2001	
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Valhalla Inn
1 Valhalla Inn Road
7 p.m.

Following these consultations, the Commission anticipates forming a small
binational team to develop such a Plan of Study.  The Commission anticipates
finalizing its Plan of Study early in the Fall of 2002.  Once it will be
developed, both the scope of work required, and the resources required, will
be better understood.

A copy of the draft directive can be dowloaded from the IJC web site

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