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INTERNATIONAL LAKE ONTARIO -
ST. LAWRENCE RIVER STUDY BOARD

POLICY STATEMENT
FOR THE RELEASE OF STUDY INFORMATION

BACKGROUND

On December 12, 2000, the International Joint Commission (Commission) created the International Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Study Board (Board) with a 5-year mandate to evaluate the procedures and criteria used to regulate the outflows of Lake Ontario and the management of the levels of the lake and the St. Lawrence River up to Trois-Rivieres, Quebec.

To support the Study in the delivery of its mandate, Technical Working Groups (TWG) were established to conduct scientific studies and evaluations, including the collection of related technical data. The TWGs represent Wetlands and the Environment; Recreational Boating; Coastal Zone (Riparian, Shore Property); Commercial Navigation; Hydropower; and Domestic, Municipal and Industrial Water Uses. In addition, groups were established to perform Hydrologic and Hydraulic Investigations, conduct Plan Formulation and Evaluation and address all Common Data Needs. The Board has also established an Information Management group to support it in its needs in that respect. Other information may become available through work performed directly on behalf of the Study.

GENERAL PRINCIPLES

From the outset, the Board adopted the general policy principles of openness and transparency. The over-riding principle is that the Board would want to ensure maximum benefit to the general public, both in Canada and in the United States, from all information that becomes available through the activities of the Board directly and or through any of its TWGs groups. This principle would only be limited by any legal or security restrictions imposed as the circumstances may require. In addition, for practical considerations, there has to be some qualifications imposed stemming from cost implications relating to making information available to individual requests.

POLICY

  1. The Board will make every effort to ensure public awareness of the nature of information, data or studies acquired throughout its mandate.


  2. The Board will respect all commitments to proprietary rights made in obtaining any information or data.


  3. The Board will make every effort to support security requirements that may limit access to certain information or data. Such limitations will be determined on rationale provided to the Board/Commission.


  4. The Board, on its own initiative and using available funding, will during the remaining years of the Study provide all information, reports, and data, on its web site. There will be no cost to the public to access such information. The continuity of the information on the web site and its maintenance beyond the mandate of the Study Board will be determined by the Commission.


  5. Language provisions:

    1. All information and reports provided on the web site will be accompanied by bilingual metadata and a bilingual summary.
    2. For the duration of the Study, all other information and reports posted on the web site will be posted in the original language (English or French) submitted.
    3. At the conclusion of the Study, there will be a final report on the five-year mandate, which will be accompanied by separate reports (likely as Appendices to the Main report). All these will be made available in both English and French.

The Board remains committed to address any other unforeseen situations on individual basis as may be deemed justified.

Submitted by Ed Eryuzlu and Tony Eberhardt
May 2003

 

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