Canada and US Amend Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement

7 September 2012: Lisa Jackson, Administrator, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Peter Kent, Minister of Environment, Canada, have signed an amendment to the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, originally signed in 1972. The amendments strengthen US and Canadian cooperative action to address water quality threats and prevent harm.

The amendments deal with issues including: aquatic invasive species; habitat degradation; effects of climate change; harmful algae; release of toxic chemicals; and vessel discharge. The amendments also provide more space for public participation, and define a shared vision for the Great Lakes, as a healthy and prosperous region in which the waters enhance the livelihoods of present and future generations of Americans and Canadians.

In welcoming the amendment, Kent highlighted that it “reflects the latest in environmental policies, including provisions related to chemicals, nutrients, ship pollution and scientific research.” Jackson said, “Joint stewardship of the Great Lakes is a cornerstone of the Canada-US relationship.” [Environment Canada Press Release] [EPA Press Release] [Statement of Peter Kent] [Protocol amending Agreement on Great Lakes Water Quality]