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News stories tagged with "ijc"

Photo: International Joint Commission
Photo: International Joint Commission

House committee restores Great Lakes cleanup funding

A federal program dedicated to environmental restoration and cleanup of the Great Lakes has escaped a massive budget cut.

A committee in the House of Representatives voted to amend a bill that would have slashed the program's funding. The move partially restores the fund to $210 million for fiscal year 2014.  Go to full article
Green groups are hoping the new water levels plan improves wetlands along the St. Lawrence River. Photo: Jenni Werndorf
Green groups are hoping the new water levels plan improves wetlands along the St. Lawrence River. Photo: Jenni Werndorf

Another new St. Lawrence, Lake Ontario water levels plan

People along the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario will get a chance to weigh in on a new water levels plan next month. It's called "Plan 2014". Regulators say it's better for Lake Ontario property owners than a plan released last year.  Go to full article
The Iroquois Dam helps control water levels on the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Photo courtesy New York Power Authority
The Iroquois Dam helps control water levels on the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Photo courtesy New York Power Authority

IJC prepares for hearings on "modified" water levels plan

A binational agency is poised to take another step towards revising the way water levels are managed on the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario.

The International Joint Commission says it "aims" to hold public hearings on changing the 55-year-old system as early as next month.  Go to full article
The International Joint Commission focuses on water levels in the Great Lake system.
The International Joint Commission focuses on water levels in the Great Lake system.

Save the River focuses on water levels plan

A new plan for controlling water levels in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River will be the main agenda item at Save the River's annual conference at the Clayton Opera House this weekend.

The new plan allows water levels to stay high (or low) for longer periods than the current plan does. The more natural fluctuations are intended to restore diversity in the shoreline ecosystems. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article
if itís if appropriately implemented, the plan would begin to reverse damage caused by 60 years of regulations

IJC releases water level plan

A new plan for controlling water levels in lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River is intended to restore diversity in shoreline plant and animal communities by permitting greater fluctuations.

The International Joint Commission, representing both the U.S. and Canada, released the regulatory plan yesterday.  Go to full article
DEC chief Pete Grannis, left, with Clayton town supervisor, Justin Taylor.
DEC chief Pete Grannis, left, with Clayton town supervisor, Justin Taylor.

New York pushes for better water levels management

Friday, the community of Clayton celebrated the completion of a $2.5 million clean-up of prime waterfront on the St. Lawrence River. Frink America's former snowplow plant polluted eight acres of riverside property in the heart of the Thousand Islands. Town supervisor Justin Taylor says the clean-up took almost ten years. The redeveloped property may include a hotel, multi-family residences, businesses, and a riverwalk. The head of New York's Department of Environmental Conservation, Pete Grannis, came to Clayton to deliver the official certificate of completion in person. Grannis stayed in Clayton Saturday for Save the River's Winter Weekend. He updated the members of the environmental group on the stalled study to control water levels on the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. In 2008, the International Joint Commission finished a 5-year, $20 million review of water levels and issued a new plan for controlling them. But then the IJC rescinded that plan, put the whole project on hold, and went back to the bargaining table. Grannis told David Sommerstein that was due to strong opposition from New York.  Go to full article
IJC Chairwoman Irene Brooks faces a determined crowd in Alexandria Bay.
IJC Chairwoman Irene Brooks faces a determined crowd in Alexandria Bay.

River residents make last case for better water levels

At least 260 St. Lawrence River residents spoke with one voice at a water levels hearing last night in Alexandria Bay. It was the last chance to persuade the International Joint Commission to adopt a more environmentally friendly plan for controlling the waters of the St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario. The plan, called "B+", has the support of local, state, and federal lawmakers, including Governor David Paterson, and a broad coalition of environmental groups. But following a five year, $20 million study, the IJC wants to implement a plan that's very similar to the original 50-year old one. The agency says it has to protect homeowners along the southern shore of Lake Ontario.  Go to full article
Rep. John McHugh (R-Pierrepont Manor)
Rep. John McHugh (R-Pierrepont Manor)

McHugh fights water levels plan in Congress

Congressman John McHugh is leading a fight in Congress to oppose a new water levels plan for the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. McHugh introduced a resolution urging the Secretary of State to turn down the International Joint Commission's new water levels regime, known as "Plan 2007" in favor of one that's better for the environment, called "Plan B+". McHugh has an unlikely ally, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, who co-sponsored the resolution. Slaughter represents the southern shore of Lake Ontario, where homeowners oppose the environmental plan because it could cause more shoreline erosion. But Slaughter told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle the environmental plan is better. McHugh echoes those sentiments, speaking with David Sommerstein.  Go to full article

River residents slam IJC plan

Thousand Islanders gave a harsh welcome to a new water levels plan for the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario last night in Alexandria Bay. The International Joint Commission wants to implement a plan that's similar to the existing 50-year-old formula. That decision has been derided by Congressman John McHugh, Senator Chuck Schumer, New York's DEC, and both Jefferson and St. Lawrence County governments. It even prompted an environmental group to name the St. Lawrence one of the nation's ten most endangered rivers. As David Sommerstein reports, river residents are spoiling for a fight for a plan that's better for the environment and boating.  Go to full article

St. Lawrence declared "endangered river"

The St. Lawrence is one of the ten most endangered rivers in the United States, according to a national environmental group. The list by American Rivers highlights ten rivers facing decisions in the coming year that could determine their future. The St. Lawrence made the list after a binational commission issued a new plan for controlling water levels on the River and Lake Ontario last month. The International Joint Commission balked at choosing a more environmentally-friendly plan, which was the preferred alternative in the North Country. Instead, it selected a water levels plan very similar to the original one developed 50 years ago. It aims to reduce the natural highs and lows of the River. The IJC says it's obligated by treaty to protect properties along the southern shore of Lake Ontario from erosion. The IJC is holding hearings over the summer. Environmentalists and state lawmakers are trying to get the commissioners to change their minds. In a press release, Congressman John McHugh says the "endangered river" designation should "spur action" to put pressure on the IJC. New York Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis said in a statement that the IJC is poised to "botch a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to return more natural flows" to the St. Lawrence. Jennifer Caddick directs Save the River, based in Clayton. She told David Sommerstein the St. Lawrence River is at a crossroads.  Go to full article

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