Canada-U.s. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement

  • Post author:
  • Post category:Uncategorized

Under this agreement, Canada and the United States are working collaboratively and in consultation with other levels of government, Indigenous peoples, non-governmental organizations and the public to restore and protect great Lakes water quality and ecosystem health. The Canada-U.S. GLQA, 2012 commits the governments of Canada and the United States to restoring and protecting the Great Lakes to achieve a number of objectives, including: to be a source of safe, high-quality drinking water; allow swimming and other recreational uses that are not limited by environmental quality concerns; Enable human consumption of fish and wildlife that are not limited by concerns about harmful pollutants. With the amendment of the agreement in 2012, the governments of Canada and the United States committed to a shared vision of a healthy and prosperous Great Lakes region, where the waters of the Great Lakes provide benefits to present and future generations through their sound management, use and use. To this end, Canada and the United States recognize the importance of taking action, addressing existing environmental problems, and anticipating and preventing future problems. The United States and Canada first signed the agreement in 1972. It was amended in 1983 and 1987. In 2012, it was updated to improve water quality programs that ensure the “chemical, physical and biological integrity” of the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLTA) is an agreement between Canada and the United States that was first signed in 1972. It contributes to the quality of life of millions of Canadians by setting shared priorities and coordinating actions to restore and protect the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the waters of the Great Lakes. Through the Agreement, Canada and the United States (the Parties) commit to work towards a number of general and specific objectives related to the quality of the waters of the Great Lakes. For example, the agreement was significantly revised in 2012 based on previous IJC evaluation reports and recommendations, as well as following a comprehensive consultation and review process led by the IJC. The 2012 agreement contains nine goals or targets that both countries commit to achieving and 10 annexes that set out commitments on specific issues that may affect Great Lakes water quality.

The value of the Great Lakes goes far beyond their economic importance in terms of commercial navigation on these waterways. Overall, the Great Lakes — Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario — are a valuable source of drinking water, recreation, fishing, manufacturing, forestry, agriculture, mining, energy and tourism; Individually, its coastlines are home to major metropolises and an abundance of parks for residents and visitors alike. Together with Canada, the lakes form the largest surface freshwater system on Earth, containing 84% of North America`s surface freshwater and stretching more than 750 miles from west to east. On the American side, the lakes affect eight states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. In Canada, the province of Ontario shares a coastline with Huron, Erie, Superior and Ontario. The Great Lakes Executive Committee (GLMC) serves as a forum to advise and assist the Parties in coordinating, implementing, reviewing and reporting on programs, practices and measures that support the implementation of the CWQA. The GLEC, which is jointly led by Environment and Climate Change Canada and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, includes high-level representatives from federal, state and provincial governments, tribal governments, First Nations, Métis, local governments, watershed management agencies and other local public agencies. A formal committee structure has also been set up to involve GLEC member organisations in binational work to develop and implement measures to meet commitments for each of the ten thematic areas identified in glwQA. The first meeting of the Sub-Committee was held in December 2012. Since then, Kluck has worked closely with NOAA`s Coastal Service Center, Great Lakes Regional Coordinator Heather Stirratt, to develop measures to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change affecting water quality in the Great Lakes.

The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement is a commitment between the United States and Canada to restore and protect the waters of the Great Lakes. The agreement provides a framework for identifying binational priorities and implementing measures to improve water quality. The EPA coordinates U.S. activities under the agreement. Years ago, the United States and Canada recognized the need to protect these waters by establishing the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLMA), which addresses critical environmental health issues in the Great Lakes region. The Environmental Protection Agency is leading the U.S. effort, which has ties to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and has published a wealth of information about www.epa.gov/grtlakes/index.html. In 2012, Canada and the United States amended the GLQA to facilitate U.S. and Canadian responses to threats to Great Lakes water quality, including measures to prevent ecological damage and continue work to reduce harmful algae, toxic chemicals and ship discharges. New regulations now address the effects of climate change.

The agreement was modernized in 2012 to reflect new evidence and address all issues related to Great Lakes water quality and ecosystem health. When the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLTA) was signed in 1972 by the governments of Canada and the United States (the “Parties”) (Environment Canada, 2013a), groundwater was not recognized as important to lake water quality. At that time, groundwater and surface water were still considered two separate systems, without their interaction being estimated. When the GLWQA was revised in 1978 (US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), 2012), groundwater contamination, as reported at former industrial sites such as the Love Canal near the Niagara River, made headlines. As a result, the potential impact of contaminated groundwater from these sites on Great Lakes water quality became an issue (Beck, 1979), and Schedule 16 was added to the agreement to address “contaminated groundwater pollution” (Francis, 1989). However, no formal notification procedure under this Annex has been provided. Through the GLQQA, Canada and the United States, in consultation and collaboration with state and provincial governments, tribal, First Nations and Métis governments, local governments, watershed management organizations and other local government agencies, will develop programs, technologies and other measures needed to better understand the Great Lakes ecosystem and restore water quality and health. ecosystems; to protect. Approaches to environmental management and our understanding of the ecosystem have evolved since the agreement was last amended in 1987. The 2012 agreement reflects this progress by focusing on coastal water quality and adaptive management approaches.

In previous versions of the agreement, the IJC was required to report every two years on the progress made by Canada and the United States in restoring and protecting lakes […].