Today, the Fiscal Year 2013 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act was voted out of committee and will be considered by the full House in two weeks. Language pertaining to the International Joint Commission (IJC) was included in the report at Representative Ann Marie Buerkle's (NY-25) request.
"The International Joint Commission is currently considering a proposal known as Plan BV7 which will set water releases and levels for the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. The implementation of this proposal could have significant consequences for the people who live, operate businesses, and recreate along the river and lake. We must ensure the IJC has appropriately examined all potential economic outcomes that Plan BV7 has on stakeholders and that is what this report language urges the Secretary to do," said Rep. Buerkle.
The following language was included in the FY2013 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act:
The Committee understands the International Joint Commission is in the process of updating water regulation levels and releases for the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. The Committee urges the Secretary of State to ensure that any new regulatory plan approved by the Commission is based upon clear, current, and in-depth study, including a thorough examination of the economic impact on stakeholders of the final plan.
The northwestern portion of Representative Buerkle's 25th Congressional District borders Lake Ontario. In January of this year, Buerkle hosted a listening session regarding Plan BV7 and has been actively engaged in ensuring the concerns of those living in the areas where the plan will be implemented are heard.