The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Water Resources Regional Body (Regional Body) and the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Council (Council) have released a summary of public comments on amendments to its governance rules.
A public comment period was held from September 10th to October 10th, 2018, on the Compact Council’s proposal to adopt Rules of Practice and Procedure and to amend its Interim Guidance and the Regional Body’s proposal to amend its Interim Procedures guidance.
Comments included calling on the Council to develop procedures for monitoring and enforcing compliance with its decisions and that the draft guidance documents and rules contravened the United Nation’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Article 25.
In response, the Regional Body and Council quoted Section 8.2 of the Compact: “Nothing in this Compact is intended to provide nor shall be construed to provide, directly or indirectly, to any Person any right, claim or remedy under any treaty or international agreement nor is it intended to derogate any right, claim, or remedy that already exists under any treaty or international agreement.”
As well, the Council and Regional Body under the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact (Compact) and the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Sustainable Water Resources Agreement (Agreement), respectively, jointly proposed to amend their Sequence of Events guidance. The documents are referenced collectively as the Updated Procedures Documents. The Updated Procedures Documents were adopted by the Regional Body and Compact Council on December 6th, 2018.
The Regional Body and Council received approximately 2517 written comments from individuals and groups. Additionally, comments were received at a public hearing on October 3rd, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Eight individuals provided oral testimony at the public hearing.
The full comment and response summary can be found on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Water Resources Regional Body website.