The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement


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The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement is an agreement between Canada and the United States of America regarding the quality of the Great Lakes Water Basin.

The Agreement, first signed in 1972 and renewed in 1978, expresses the commitment of each country to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem and includes a number of objectives and guidelines to achieve these goals. It reaffirms the rights and obligation of Canada and the United States of America under the Boundary Waters Treaty and has become a major focus of Commission activity.

In 1987, a Protocol was signed amending the 1978 Agreement. The amendments aim to strengthen the programs, practices and technology described in the 1978 Agreement and to increase accountability for their implementation. Timetables are set for implementation of specific programs.

The Parties will meet biennially to discuss progress and report periodically to the Commission. New annexes address atmospheric deposition of toxic pollutants, contaminated sediments, groundwater, and nonpoint sources of pollution. Annexes are also added to incorporate the development and implementation of remedial action plans for Areas of Concern and lakewide management plans to control critical pollutants.

The Commission monitors and assesses progress under the Agreement and advises Governments on matters related to the quality of the boundary waters of the Great Lakes system. The Agreement also calls upon the Commission to assist the Governments with joint programs under the Agreement, and provides for two binational boards -- the Great Lakes Water Quality Board and the Great Lakes Science Advisory Board -- to advise the Commission


See Also

Water-related Legislation and Conventions

External Resources


Full Text of the Agreement  Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.pdf

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