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News and Events

January 15, 2018

Regional Body and Compact Council will review and revise water withdrawal and diversion procedures

The Regional Body and Compact Council of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Water Resources Compact and Agreement will review and update the procedures they use to review applications for diversions of water from the Great Lakes. This is the first time the procedures have been formally revisited since the Compact and Agreement were adopted in 2008. By contrast to the interim procedures that the RB/CC established previously, the procedural review that the RB/CC now intends will be conducted under the rulemaking authorities in the Compact and Agreement.

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January 5, 2018

Nuclear regulatory agencies recommend against including radionuclides as potential CMC

Nuclear regulatory agencies in the U.S. and Canada recommend against evaluating radionuclides as potential Chemicals of Mutual Concern under Annex 3 of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Both the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission refute the conclusion that “…there is no level of radionuclides below which exposure can be defined as ‘safe;’ therefore, very low levels of exposure can be significant.” Both agencies state that this claim is incorrect and that it is very difficult to establish the risk of low doses over a lifetime because the risk “is not known with certainty and could be zero.” ECCC and U.S. EPA are considering these recommendations as they prepare to move forward towards reviewing a new set of substances for potential CMC listing later this year.

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October 24, 2017

Introducing Todd Schmidt, CGLI’s Chemical Management Specialist

Todd Schmidt of TRC Environmental Solutions, Inc. (TRC) has joined CGLI as Chemical Management Specialist. In that role, Todd will work with Dale Phenicie, CGLI’s Technical Director, on chemical management issues and the Chemical Management Work Group.

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CIGLR offers opportunity for research partnerships

A new research institute in the Great Lakes region (the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research, or CIGLR) is interested in partnering with industry and other partners and affiliates to develop a research agenda for the Great Lakes. CIGLR’s research priorities include a wide range of Great Lakes issues, including issues that impact the human dimension of the Great Lakes system.

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USACE study evaluates options for Asian carp controls at Brandon Road Lock and Dam

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has released a study that evaluates six alternatives for controlling the one-way, upstream transfer of ANS from the Mississippi River basin into the Great Lakes basin at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Joliet, IL. USACE asserts that the tentatively selected plan reduces the risk that Asian carp from the Mississippi River basin will establish populations in the Great Lakes basin to the maximum extent possible while minimizing impacts to waterway uses and users.

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Great Lakes Commission adopts a resolution that addresses “chemicals of emerging concern”

The Great Lakes Commission (GLC) has adopted a resolution that urges action related to chemicals of emerging concern (CECs). The resolution defines CECs as “a wide variety of compounds that are present in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence river basin that are not widely or consistently regulated,” and highlights polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), pharmaceuticals, 1,4-Dioxane, and microplastics as examples.

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September 1, 2017

U.S. federal agencies release draft Domestic Action Plan for Lake Erie

The federal agencies responsible for meeting U.S. commitments under Annex 4 (Nutrients) of the U.S.-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement released a draft plan on August 17 that describes the activities that federal and state agencies will undertake to address harmful algal blooms and hypoxia in Lake Erie. The plan summarizes the federal and state activities that have been established to manage nutrient discharges to the Lake and achieve the phosphorus reduction targets that the U.S. and Canada established for Lake Erie in February 2016. The plan will be open for public comment until September 29.

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August 31, 2017

City of Waukesha water diversion appeal resolved

On August 2, the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (GLSLCI) announced that it had decided not to pursue its appeal of the Great Lakes Governors’ decision to grant the City of Waukesha, Wisconsin a diversion of water from Lake Michigan for use as a public water supply. The Great Lakes Governors had unanimously approved the City’s request in June 2016, finding that the application satisfied the criteria in the Compact and Agreement for an exception to the ban on diversions of water outside the Great Lakes basin. In August 2016, GLSLCI requested the Governors to reconsider their decision to grant the City’s request, but the Governors voted unanimously to affirm the decision.

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US Army Corps of Engineers releases Brandon Road study

On August 7, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) released a study that evaluates aquatic nuisance species (ANS) control technologies that could be constructed in the Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Joliet, IL to control the one-way, upstream transfer of ANS from the Mississippi River basin into the Great Lakes basin. USACE evaluated six alternative approaches for controlling ANS at the dam and has recommended an option that USACE asserts will reduce the risk that ANS from the Mississippi River basin will establish populations in the Great Lakes Basin to the maximum extent possible while minimizing impacts to waterway uses and users.

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August 1, 2017

Determining the Economic Impact of Protecting and Restoring the Great Lakes

CGLI is partnering with the Great Lakes Commission to lead a study that will determine the economic impact of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Research teams from the University of Michigan and Central Michigan University will develop a comprehensive estimate of the economic impact of GLRI that will be used to demonstrate the value of ecosystem restoration and protection to the regional economy.

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