International Joint Commission

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The International Joint Commission is an independent binational organization established by the United States and Canada under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909.

The Commission has ongoing responsibilities related to the following treaties and agreements:

Purpose and aims[edit]

The purpose of the Commission is to help prevent and resolve disputes about the use and quality of boundary waters and to advise Canada and the United States on questions about water resources. The Commission holds public meetings every two years to discuss progress in cleaning up the Great Lakes and issues related to boundary rivers and trans-national rivers. It also sponsors conferences, meetings and round table discussions where members of the public and representatives of community groups and other organizations can take part.

The Commission can alert governments to emerging issues along the border. Its recommendations to the Canada and United States governments are not binding although they are usually accepted by both governments.[1]

Jurisdictions covered[edit]

The Commission has jurisdiction over the Great Lakes–Saint Lawrence River waters and other waters along the border. In the west, the Commission established conditions for dams on the Kootenay, Okanogan, and Columbia Rivers, which cross through the states of Washington, Idaho and Montana, and the province of British Columbia. The Commission has also assisted in drafting rules for sharing the St. Mary and Milk rivers in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Montana. The Commission has been involved in how the Souris River and Red River systems are shared among Saskatchewan, Manitoba and North Dakota. It also sets emergency water levels for the Rainy Lake system, including the Lake of the Woods, which crosses through Minnesota, Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario. Protection of Rainy River water quality is also addressed by the IJC. In the east, the Commission regulates dams and protects the water quality on the St. Croix River, which flows through New Brunswick and Maine.

Organization and boards[edit]

The Commission is headed by six commissioners, three from each country. The Commissioners are appointed by the government of Canada and the United States. Commissioners do no represent their governments. The Canadian Commissioners are Gordon Walker (Acting Canadian Chair) and Benoît Bouchard. There is currently a vacant Canadian Commissioner position. The US Commissioners are Lana Pollack (US Chair), Dereth Glance and Rich Moy.

The Commission has three offices, in Ottawa, Washington, DC, and Windsor, Ontario. The Windsor Great Lakes Regional Office (GLRO) was created under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA). It is staffed by a bi-national team of US and Canadian scientists and support staff.

Separate boards are responsible for particular boundary waters issues. When there are special issues, a Task Force is assigned to make a report or recommendations. The various standing bodies are:

  • Accredited Officers for the St. Mary - Milk Rivers
  • Council of Great Lakes Research Managers
  • Great Lakes Science Advisory Board
  • Great Lakes Water Quality Board
  • Health Professionals Advisory Board
  • Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Task Team
  • International Columbia River Board of Control
  • International Kootenay Lake Board of Control
  • International Lake Superior Board of Control
  • International Lake of the Woods Control Board
  • Lake of the Woods Basin Water Quality Plan of Study Team
  • International Niagara Board of Control
  • International Osoyoos Lake Board of Control
  • International Rainy Lake Board of Control
  • Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board
  • International Red River Board
  • International Souris River Board
  • International St. Croix River Watershed Board
  • International St. Lawrence River Board of Control

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.ijc.org/en_/Role_of_the_Commission

External links[edit]