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International Commissions


FY 2008 Budget in Brief
Bureau of Resource Management
February 5, 2007
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Resource Summary
($ in thousands)


Appropriations

FY 2006

Actual

FY 2007

Estimate

FY 2008

Request

International Boundary and Water Commission

32,874

34,273

102,155

Salaries & Expenses

27,642

27,642

30,430

Construction

5,232

6,631

71,725

International Fisheries Commissions

23,693

20,651

21,000

American Sections

9,911

9,587

10,395

Border Environment Cooperation Commission

2,083

2,175

2,100

International Joint Commission

6,417

6,127

6,765

International Boundary Commission

1,411

1,285

1,530

Total, International Commissions

66,478

64,511

133,550


All FY 2006 Actuals reflect the rescission of 0.28% provided through the Science, State, Justice, Commerce, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006 (P.L. 109-108) and the general rescission of 1.0% provided through the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and Pandemic Influenza, 2006 (P.L. 109-148, Division B).


All FY 2007 Estimates reflect the levels provided by a Continuing Resolution (P.L. 109-289, Division B, as amended). These amounts may change with the expected passage of a year-long CR.




INTERNATIONAL BOUNDARY AND WATER COMMISSION
UNITED STATES AND MEXICO - SALARIES AND EXPENSES


Resource Summary

($ in thousands)

Activities

FY 2006

Actual

FY 2007

Estimate

FY 2008

Request

Administration

5,476

5,476

5,799

Engineering

2,382

2,382

2,451

Operations and Maintenance

19,784

19,784

22,180

Appropriation Total

27,642

27,642

30,430


FY 2006 Actuals reflect the rescission of 0.28% provided through the Science, State, Justice, Commerce, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006 (P.L. 109-108) and the general rescission of 1.0% provided through the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and Pandemic Influenza, 2006 (P.L. 109-148, Division B).


FY 2007 Estimates reflect the levels provided by a Continuing Resolution (P.L. 109-289, Division B, as amended). These amounts may change with the expected passage of a year-long CR.


Justification of Request



The FY 2008 request provides $30,430,000 for Administration, Engineering, and Operations & Maintenance (O&M) activities for the U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission. This request includes wage increases of $700,000 and $1,277,000 to fund actual increases in the operation and maintenance of two international wastewater treatment plants, and inflation increases for agency-wide operations.

Program Description

The Commission manages the execution of the USIBWC mission, which is to exercise U.S. rights and obligations assumed under U.S.-Mexico boundary and water treaties and related agreements in an economically and sound manner and to develop binational solutions to water and boundary problems arising along the 1,952 miles of border between the U.S. and Mexico, which encompasses the four U.S. states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California and the six Mexican states of Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, Chihuahua, Sonora, and Baja California, and to resolve current and anticipated boundary and water issues between the U.S. and Mexico in the best interest of the American public.

The IBWC is made up of the United States Section (USIBWC), headquartered in El Paso, Texas, and the Mexican Section (CILA), headquartered in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. Both Sections have field offices along the boundary. In accomplishing the IBWC's mission, the U.S. and Mexican Sections jointly exercise the provisions of existing treaties to improve the water quality of the Tijuana, Colorado, and Rio Grande rivers and resolve border sanitation problems. The Commission also applies the provisions of these treaties and agreements to equitably distribute the boundary rivers water to both countries and for the operations of: international flood control projects along the boundary rivers, international reservoirs for conservation of Rio Grande water and for hydroelectric generation, and international wastewater treatment plants. The IBWC also has the responsibility to establish and maintain the boundary in the limitrophe section of the international rivers and demarcate the land boundary. Most projects are developed jointly by the USIBWC and CILA, requiring interdependence for full implementation of those projects.

In addition, the Commission will:
 • Implement joint water quality programs for the observation of the biological, mineral, chemical, and toxic quality of international river waters;
 • Ensure compliance with National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for the Nogales International Wastewater Treatment Plant, located in Nogales, Arizona, and the South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant, located in San Ysidro, California;
 • Design water conveyance structures for the new higher capacity American Canal, including box culverts, wasteways, and transition structures; and design operation and maintenance facilities for flood control, hydrologic, groundwater, sanitation (water quality), and boundary demarcation and preservation projects;
 • Conduct various planning (pre-design) and environmental studies to address a variety of border issues, including surveys, environmental investigations, water quality, border sanitation and boundary preservation studies and other small-scale studies required prior to design and construction, and
 • Investigate and report on the most feasible measures for solving border sanitation problems along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Benefits

The work of the IBWC facilitates the solution of international boundary and water problems, which benefits populations on both sides of the boundary and improves relations between the two countries. Particular emphasis is placed on the resolution of critical environmental issues.

PART / Performance Evaluation

The USIBWC participated in its first review using the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART), as required and as scheduled by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and received a rating of "Effective." The USIBWC strongly supports the President's Management Agenda (PMA) and three of the Department's performance goals - close, strong and effective U.S. ties with allies, friends, partners and regional organizations; the containment or resolution of existing and emergency regional conflicts; and the development of partnerships, initiatives, and international treaties and agreements that protect the environment and promote efficient energy use and resource management.

The USIBWC has made significant progress in the accomplishment of the PMA government-wide initiatives. The USIBWC is currently evaluating its organization and functional requirements, and identifying areas that can be improved. USIBWC will develop a human capital management plan for agency positions in accordance with Circular A-76, and will improve the cost accounting system to track all financial data against associated project phases and strategic goals. The USIBWC has made significant strides in electronic government by installing and implementing an agency-wide electronic travel processing system.

The USIBWC prepared a new Strategic Plan for FY 2007 to FY 2011, including long-range performance goals. In accordance with the PMA and the new Strategic Plan, the USIBWC will re-evaluate its priorities and revise/update its long-range work plans for each program.


INTERNATIONAL BOUNDARY AND WATER COMMISSION
UNITED STATES - CONSTRUCTION


Resource Summary

($ in thousands)

Activities

FY 2006

Actual

FY 2007

Estimate

FY 2008

Request

Boundary-Wide Program

1,197

850

175

Facilities Renovation

828

575

175

Heavy Equipment Replacement

369

275

0

Water Quantity Program

3,636

4,781

5,550

Rio Grande Canalization

249

250

0

Rio Grande Flood Control System Rehabilitation

2,590

3,831

5,000

Safety of Dams Rehabilitation

598

550

550

Colorado River Boundary and Capacity Preservation

199

150

0

Water Quality Program

399

1,000

66,000

Secondary Treatment of Tijuana Sewage

399

1,000

66,000

Appropriation Total

5,232

6,631

71,725


FY 2006 Actuals reflect the rescission of 0.28% provided through the Science, State, Justice, Commerce, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006 (P.L. 109-108) and the general rescission of 1.0% provided through the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and Pandemic Influenza, 2006 (P.L. 109-148, Division B).


FY 2007 Estimates reflect the levels provided by a Continuing Resolution (P.L. 109-289, Division B, as amended). These amounts may change with the expected passage of a year-long CR.


Justification of Request



The FY 2008 budget request of $71,725,000 will support flood control plans to rehabilitate the Lower Rio Grande Flood Control system and the Safety of Dams Rehabilitation Program. The request includes also funding for the construction of secondary sewage treatment facilities at the South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Program Description

The USIBWC will continue to carry out construction and rehabilitation projects related to water quality/ sanitation, infrastructure security, flood control, distribution and deliveries of international waters, and boundary demarcation. These projects are organized into three program groups: Boundary-wide, Water Quantity, and Water Quality. In this endeavor, the USIBWC will explore best and innovative practices from both the private and other public sectors. The FY 2008 funding request for the construction activities are as follows:



Boundary-Wide Program ($175,000)
Facilities Renovation - $175,000: Originally funded in FY 1992, this project will continue a multi-year program to renovate and modernize deteriorated USIBWC facilities along the U.S.-Mexico border region to current industry standards. These facilities, most of which were constructed between 1930 and 1950, require major rehabilitation work to meet OSHA safety standards, current environmental laws, and to provide more efficient, effective and secure working environments. The project consists of structural, electrical and mechanical improvements as well as renovations necessary for compliance with environmental, occupational safety and health, handicap, and other regulatory requirements. The FY 2008 request will be used to replace the high service water pumps at the Falcon Water Treatment Plant for compliance with new safe drinking water standards implemented by the State of Texas.


Water Quantity Program ($5,550,000)
Rio Grande Flood Control System Rehabilitation - $5,000,000: This project, which started in FY 2001, will continue a multi-year effort to evaluate and rehabilitate the Rio Grande Flood Control System along the international segment of the river, downstream of the Rio Grande Canalization Project. The project work includes engineering evaluation of approximately 380 miles of the levee system, rehabilitation of the inadequate levees, replacement of the failed Riverside diversion dam, preservation of the river channel and flood plain, inundation mapping, and aerial boundary mapping and demarcation efforts along the Rio Grande. The USIBWC will utilize the FY 2008 request and anticipated carryover to fund the construction of the first phase of flood control improvements on the Hidalgo Levee (3.3 miles), which is in addition to the one mile of levee raising performed in FY 2005 and FY 2006 during construction of the Hidalgo Hike and Bike Trail. The request will also provide for the design of flood control levee improvements in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) along the Rio Grande from Lateral A to Donna Pump (levee forks into two), Donna Pump to Retamal Dam, and Donna Pump to Brownsville.

Safety of Dams Rehabilitation - $550,000: Originally funded in FY 2001, this project will continue a multi-year effort for the rehabilitation and proper operation of all USIBWC dams, as recommended by the Joint Technical Advisors of the Federal Safety of Dams Program. The USIBWC is solely responsible for operation and maintenance of two diversion dams on the Rio Grande (American and International), and jointly responsible for four international dams (Amistad, Falcon, Anzalduas, and Retamal). These dams provide for distribution of the Rio Grande waters between the U.S. and Mexico as well as for the conservation, flood control, water storage, power generation, and regulation of the flow of the river, pursuant to the 1944 Water Treaty. The FY 2008 request will fund the painting of hoist equipment and all weather expose equipment, and upgrade the hydraulic system for Head Gate Penstock No. 5 at Amistad Dam. At the American Dam, the USIBWC will refurbish and/or replacement of Gates No. 1 (if not performed in FY 2007), 2, 3, and 4 of 13. The USIBWC will also test and replace, as needed, the spillway gate cables (as needed), and upgrade the dam roadway lights at Falcon Dam. Finally, FY 2008 funds will be used to perform an underwater inspection of the foundation and stilling basin at Anzalduas Dam.

Water Quality Program ($66,000,000)
Secondary Treatment of Tijuana Sewage - $66,000,000: The project will provide for secondary treatment of Tijuana sewage as mandated by Public Law 106-457, "The Tijuana River Estuary and Beach Cleanup Act of 2000," amended by Public Law 108-425. The Public Law authorizes the USIBWC to take appropriate actions to comprehensively address the treatment of sewage emanating from the Tijuana River area, Mexico that flows untreated into the United States causing significant adverse public health and environmental impacts. The USIBWC is operating under a Development Agreement to pursue a public-private partnership to provide secondary treatment of Tijuana sewage in Mexico through a lease/contract. However, the Administration believes that upgrading the existing South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant (SBIWTP) in San Diego, California to U.S. secondary standards is more efficient and less expensive than the costly leaseand will provide for an average flow of 25 mgd and handle peak flows of 50 mgd. However, if milestones for the lease effort are met by May 2, 2007, the FY 2008 request includes a proviso that $3 million may be transferred to the Salaries and Expenses account to fund the first month of the lease/contract.

INTERNATIONAL FISHERIES COMMISSIONS

Resource Summary
($ in thousands)


Activities

FY 2006

Actual

FY 2007

Estimate

FY 2008

Request

Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC)

14,677

12,140

12,140

Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC)

1,938

1,800

1,800

International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC)

2,948

2,300

2,300

Other Marine Conservation Organizations

1,430

1,611

1,711

Pacific Salmon Commission (PSC)

2,700

2,800

3,049

Appropriation Total

23,693

20,651

21,000


FY 2006 Actuals reflect the rescission of 0.28% provided through the Science, State, Justice, Commerce, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006 (P.L. 109-108) and the general rescission of 1.0% provided through the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and Pandemic Influenza, 2006 (P.L. 109-148, Division B).


FY 2007 Estimates reflect the levels provided by a Continuing Resolution (P.L. 109-289, Division B, as amended). These amounts may change with the expected passage of a year-long CR.


Justification of Request



The FY 2008 request provides $21,000,000 for U.S. support for the International Fisheries Commissions.
This request includes:
 • $12,140,000 for the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and $2,300,000 for the International Pacific Halibut Commission, to support the core functions of these two commissions.
 • $1,800,000 to pay the U.S. share of annual treaty assessments to the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission.
 • $1,711,000 to pay the U.S. share of annual treaty assessments and program expenses of the 12 other commissions and activities included under this appropriation, including a $100,000 increase to accommodate higher assessments and a partial repayment of arrears incurred in FY 2005 and FY 2006.
 • $3,049,000 for the Pacific Salmon Commission, which includes a $249,000 increase to fund negotiations for the key Pacific Salmon Treaty annexes that expire in 2008.


Program Description

The International Fisheries Commissions appropriation provides for:
 • The treaty-mandated U.S. share of operating expenses of ten international fisheries commissions and organizations, one sea turtle convention, the International Whaling Commission, two international marine science organizations, and the Antarctic Treaty;
 • Travel expenses of U.S. Commissioners and their advisors; and
 • Compensation payments to non-government employees of the Pacific Salmon Commission for days actually worked as U.S. Commissioners, panel members, advisors, and/or alternates.

These organizations facilitate international cooperation to achieve conservation of shared living marine resources and/or sustainable use of shared fish populations by:

 • Coordinating scientific research into the size, health, and distribution of shared fish populations and other living marine resources, and evaluating the effects of fishing and environmental conditions on these resources;
 • Recommending conservation and management measures to member governments based on scientific advice; and
 • Where appropriate, allocating harvesting rights to member nations according to relevant criteria and consistent with approved conservation and management measures.

U.S. leadership in these organizations secures and maintains access to a fair share of international fisheries resources for U.S. commercial and recreational fishers, protects vulnerable marine species, strengthens the well-being of coastal communities, and advances key U.S. interests such as regional economic stability and protection of the global marine environment.

Benefits

Membership in these organizations produces the following benefits to the United States:

 • Management and conservation of commercial and recreational fisheries that generate income over $12 billion annually to the U.S. economy;
 • Continuation of efforts to eradicate sea lampreys in the Great Lakes and their tributaries to allow depleted fish stocks to rebuild;
 • Assurance that U.S. fishermen have the opportunity to harvest an equitable share of common fish resources;
 • Protection against the depletion of fishery resources and degradation of the marine and Antarctic environment;
 • Assurance of the protection of whale stocks through the International Whaling Commission;
 • Peaceful uses of the Antarctic region, including marine protected areas;
 • Conservation of vulnerable marine species such as sea turtles and dolphins; and
 • Fora for discussion of problems of mutual interest among the United States and other fishing nations.

PART / Performance Evaluation

The International Fisheries Commissions underwent initial Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) analysis by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in FY 2004 for the FY 2006 budget. The review found the program planning, management, results, and accountability to be "adequate." The review showed that each commission has ambitious short- and long-term measures (including three efficiency measures), which have been met or exceeded, for example:

 • The number of multilateral regional fisheries management organizations implementing comprehensive schemes to improve compliance with conservation and management measures by both members and non-members; and
 • Depleted stocks of living marine resources rebuild to healthy levels through coordinated, science-based management.


Other Marine Conservation Organizations


Request by Commission

($ in thousands)

Activities

FY 2006

Actual

FY 2007

Estimate

FY 2008

Request

Antarctic Treaty

33

50

35

Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)

81

90

90

Expenses of the U.S. Commissioners

120

120

115

International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT)

242

260

251

International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES)

182

200

200

International Sea Turtle Conservation Programs

120

90

100

International Whaling Commission (IWC)

160

170

260

North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO)

38

45

45

North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC)

125

125

125

North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES)

89

90

90

Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO)

50

121

150

Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC)

190

250

250

Other Marine Conservation Organizations Total

1,430

1,611

1,711


FY 2006 Actuals reflect the rescission of 0.28% provided through the Science, State, Justice, Commerce, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006 (P.L. 109-108) and the general rescission of 1.0% provided through the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and Pandemic Influenza, 2006 (P.L. 109-148, Division B).


FY 2007 Estimates reflect the levels provided by a Continuing Resolution (P.L. 109-289, Division B, as amended). These amounts may change with the expected passage of a year-long CR.




BORDER ENVIRONMENT COOPERATION COMMISSION

Resource Summary
($ in thousands)


FY 2006

Actual

FY 2007

Estimate

FY 2008

Request

Appropriation Total

2,083

2,175

2,100


FY 2006 Actual reflects the rescission of 0.28% provided through the Science, State, Justice, Commerce, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006 (P.L. 109-108) and the general rescission of 1.0% provided through the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and Pandemic Influenza, 2006 (P.L. 109-148, Division B).


FY 2007 Estimate reflects the level provided by a Continuing Resolution (P.L. 109-289, Division B, as amended). This amount may change with the expected passage of a year-long CR.


Justification of Request



The Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) is a bi-national institution, jointly funded by the United States and Mexico. The $2,100,000 requests for FY 2008 is the U.S. contribution to the BECC. The FY 2008 contribution will enable the BECC to continue assisting border communities in the identification, development, design and certification of border environmental infrastructure projects that will be considered by lending or grant-making institutions, such as the North American Development Bank (NADB). This financial support will also enable the BECC to continue its public involvement and public outreach process.

Border communities have a great need not only for infrastructure but also for resources to develop that infrastructure properly. Through an effective partnership, the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Project Development Assistance Program (PDAP) has provided $41,200,000 in funds to the BECC that are used to provide technical assistance to communities to develop and design water and wastewater projects since the inception in of the program in FY 1997 through FY 2007. The remaining balance of this amount is $6 million. Projects planned for 2006 and 2007 will entirely exhaust this outstanding balance in the coming fiscal year. A grant proposal will be submitted to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and if funded, will provide new funds starting in FY 2008.

Funding for development and design of solid waste projects comes from NADB and funding for development and design of other sector projects comes from BECC operating funds and the NADB. Other sector projects include, but are not limited to: hazardous waste, air quality, public transportation, clean and efficient energy, municipal planning and development, water conservation, water and wastewater hookups, and waste reduction and recycling.

Program Description

Established and authorized under a side agreement to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the BECC's central objective is to assist states, local communities, private industry, and non-governmental organizations in developing effective solutions to environmental problems along the U.S.-Mexico border. The geographical area includes 100 km in the U.S and 300 km in Mexico. The BECC provides technical and financial planning assistance and certifies environmental infrastructure projects.

The BECC assists states, localities, and private investors that propose environmental infrastructure projects by providing technical support--such as engineering analysis, project development and design, financial feasibility studies, community participation, environmental assessment and sustainable development--to border communities seeking to develop environmental infrastructure projects. In addition, the BECC mobilizes the resources from U.S. and Mexican environmental agencies and other sources, and provides access to the resources of the NADB. Under the BECC's public participation program, the BECC notifies the public about specific projects and receives comments from affected communities to ensure extensive public involvement and support in the policies and decisions of the Commission.

The BECC expects to certify approximately 14 projects in FY 2007 with an estimated value of $395 million. The process of identifying potential new projects and developing these projects has matured into a comprehensive system well coordinated and integrated with the NADB and federal agencies in both countries.

In FY 2007 and FY 2008 the BECC anticipates it will receive approximately 70 applications that satisfy the BECC basic criteria (a) location within the designated geographical area, (b) solving an environmental or human health issue, and (c) constituting a water, wastewater, solid waste, or new sector projects. BECC's mission continues to be the improvement of quality of life for the more than 22.3 million residents residing within the designated geographical area.

BECC is governed by a binational Board of Directors, composed of ten members (five from the U.S. and five from Mexico), representing federal, state and civil society on the border. Members of the Board of Directors are appointed by the President of the United States and the Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources for Mexico.

Benefits

BECC's benefits include:

 • Assistance for states and localities and other public entities and private investors in:

  • Coordinating environmental infrastructure projects to address serious environmental degradation problems along the 2,000 mile U.S.-Mexico border;
  • Developing, implementing, and overseeing environmental infrastructure projects in the border region, including the development, design, and other technical aspects of such projects;
  • Analyzing the financial feasibility and/or the environmental and sustainable development aspects of environmental infrastructure projects in the border region;
  • Evaluating social and economic benefits of environmental infrastructure projects in the border region; and
  • Organizing, developing, and arranging public and private financing for environmental infrastructure projects in the border region.

 • Certification of environmental infrastructure projects for financing by the NADB or other sources of funding;
 • Innovative approaches to address common environmental infrastructure needs along the international border; and
 • Forum for public input into critical decision making on the development and implementation of infrastructure projects.



INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION

Resource Summary
($ in thousands)


Activities

FY 2006

Actual

FY 2007

Estimate

FY 2008

Request

Special & Technical Investigations by U.S. Geological Survey

573

590

608

U.S. Section

5,844

5,537

6,157

Appropriation Total

6,417

6,127

6,765


FY 2006 Actuals reflect the rescission of 0.28% provided through the Science, State, Justice, Commerce, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006 (P.L. 109-108) and the general rescission of 1.0% provided through the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and Pandemic Influenza, 2006 (P.L. 109-148, Division B).


FY 2007 Estimates reflect the levels provided by a Continuing Resolution (P.L. 109-289, Division B, as amended). These amounts may change with the expected passage of a year-long CR.


Justification of Request



The FY 2008 request of $6,765,000 supports wage and price increases for the operations of the International Joint Commission (IJC) and ongoing special investigations by the U.S. Geological Survey. The requested increase also provides additional funds for the Upper Great Lakes Study examining the regulation of Lake Superior outflows and their water levels and flow impacts for Lakes Superior, Huron, Michigan and Erie and their connecting channels, including the St. Clair River ($339,000). These additional funds partially address increases identified in the October 2005 Plan of Study and would provide a total of $1,900,000 for the U.S. share of work spanning the second and third years of the five-year binational, jointly-funded study.

Program Description

The IJC's mission is to develop and, where appropriate, administer programs to assist the governments of the United States and Canada to address water quality and quantity issues and air pollution problems along the U.S./Canadian border through the implementation of the provisions of the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 and related international agreements. In addition, the United States' share of the IJC's Great Lakes Regional Office (Windsor, Ontario), created by the U.S.-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA), is funded through this account.

During FY 2008, the IJC will continue to manage water levels and flows in the Great Lakes and other boundary waters to achieve an appropriate balance among the many significant interests dependent on or affected by water levels. The unpredictable increase in both drought and flooding events in border watersheds has placed greater demands on the resource, as illustrated by recent near-record low water levels in Lake Superior, and intensified the need for careful and well analyzed control of the outflows from regulated structures during high and low water periods.

The IJC plans to continue in FY 2008 its five-year study of the Upper Great Lakes, guided by the October 2005 Plan of Study, to assess changes in the St. Clair River and determine changes required to the Orders of Approval governing the regulation of outflows from Lake Superior into Lakes Michigan, Huron and Erie (affecteing; Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Ontario.) The Orders governing the Upper Great Lakes are nearly a quarter-century old and do not fully consider the needs of interests that have grown in the region over time, environmental considerations and potential changes in timing and volume of water supplies. Significant variations in water levels have and will continue to create social and economic impacts. The study was initiated in FY 2006. Major Upper Lakes Study activities planned for FY 2008 include completing the evaluation of St. Clair River studies, developing outflow regulation plan options, and analyzing potential water level and flow change impacts on the environment and coast property. Ongoing two-way public communication and public outreach will continue to be an important aspect of the study.

The IJC will continue work on references (requests for IJC studies) issued by the two governments over the previous fiscal years and those expected to be issued during FY 2008 and will carry out its responsibilities pursuant to its Orders of Approval and under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and Boundary Waters Treaty. These activities include:

 • Continued implementation of decisions made in FY 2007 regarding changes to the operation of the Moses-Saunders Dam on the St. Lawrence River (New York, Ontario and Quebec) and monitoring effects of operations;

 • Measured development and maturing of the international watershed initiative in the border region for the purpose of building local capacity to solve binational local and regional problems in watersheds that straddle the U.S.-Canada boundary, improving cross-border communication and promoting a watershed-based approach;

 • Preparing for the initiation of the first year of a three-year study to assess changes needed to the regulation of outflows from Osoyoos Lake through Zosel Dam (British Columbia and Washington), in accordance with an August 2006 Plan of Study, prior to the expiration of the Order governing the current regulation regime;

 • Assessing progress consistent with Lakewide Management Plans on cleaning up areas of concern designated under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement;

 • Preparing a biennial report on the progress of the U.S. and Canadian Governments in carrying out the provisions of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement;

 • Continuing to assist the governments in their comprehensive review of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement;

 • Continuing to implement an integrated approach to water quality and water quantity responsibilities in the Souris River basin (North Dakota, Manitoba and Saskatchewan);

 • Subject to the receipt of referrals from governments and provision of funds, conducting biological monitoring in the Devils Lake and greater Red River basin (Minnesota, North Dakota and Manitoba); considering a request for permission to construct an expanded Peace Bridge and Goat Island Bridge over the Niagara River (New York and Ontario); assessing the impacts of proposed coal-bed methane development in the Flathead River basin (Montana and British Columbia); evaluating transboundary impacts of operations by Teck Cominco along the Columbia River (Washington and British Columbia); and undertaking the assessment of a proposed mine on the Taku River in British Columbia that may pose a risk of substantial damage to the salmon fishery in Alaska; and

 • Supporting the U.S. Government's program to monitor water levels and flows in numerous boundary and transboundary rivers and to meet water apportionment requirements. This work is accomplished through an interagency agreement with the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Benefits

The quality and quantity of boundary waters, including the Great Lakes, are maintained and monitored to ensure that millions of Americans and Canadians will not lose the economic, recreational and aesthetic benefits that they now derive from these waters nor suffer from damages to the resource. The prompt and effective prevention and/or resolution of potential environmental or other disputes ensure the maintenance of the strong relationship that exists between Canada and the United States.

PART / Performance Evaluation

The IJC's annual project agenda consists of scientific and technical studies performed at the request of the two national governments, some known in advance, others requested in the course of the fiscal year.

In addition to its ongoing responsibilities, the IJC worked in FY 2006 on two new references received from the governments of Canada and the United States. The first, to carry out a public consultation program concerning the governments' review of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, was received by the IJC in June 2005 with a request to complete work by January 2006. The IJC convened 15 public meetings, held a four-day bilingual Web dialogue and compiled a synthesis and full record of the 4,000 comments received. The second, to carry out water quality responsibilities and carry out oversight of flood forecasting and flood operations in the Souris River basin, was received in June 2005. The IJC developed a new directive and work plan to address the newly assigned responsibilities, reconstituted its International Souris River Board to encompass water quality as well as water quantity expertise, and directed its reconstituted board to detail plans for flood-related responsibilities.

A long-term program goal is to ensure the IJC's ability to address existing and emerging issues to help governments prevent and resolve disputes, such that the IJC is able to respond to references issued by the two governments, and to address issues early and, as much as possible, at the local level so that more substantive transboundary controversies are averted and the need for formal references avoided. A short-term program goal toward this end is steady progress in ensuring scientific, technical and institutional capacity. The structure of the Commission's boards and task forces is a critical component of this capacity, providing a forum for relevant agencies, academics, industry representatives, and others in both countries to bring their scientific and technical expertise to bear, to address emerging issues and to discuss these issues with the local public. In FY 2006, the IJC and its 21 boards and task forces conducted 43 public consultation meetings in communities along or near the international boundary. Also in FY 2006, 23 reports were issued under the auspices of the IJC and its boards and task forces providing information on work undertaken on the Commission's various responsibilities, information on water quality and water quantity requirements, and issues and developments in various watersheds along the boundary.

Another long-term program goal is to ensure that the operation of facilities affecting international water levels and flows remains relevant for current and anticipated conditions. A short-term goal within this context is to ensure steady progress in reviewing the IJC's decades-old international approvals in light of changed social, technical and climatic conditions. The IJC's International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Study Board, created to review the 50-year old regulation of Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River outflows, completed its five-year study in March 2006; the IJC is considering the options provided by the Board, seeking public comment, consulting with the U.S. and Canadian governments, and anticipates developing and implementing its decision during FY 2007. The IJC revised in FY 2006 a Plan of Study for the 25-year old regulation of the Upper Great Lakes (Lake Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie and their connecting channels) to incorporate lessons learned from the Lake Ontario study. The IJCalso initiated a five-year study for the Upper Great Lakes later in FY 2006 and then developed a Plan of Study for the required review of Zosel Dam at the outlet of Osoyoos Lake.

INTERNATIONAL BOUNDARY COMMISSION

Resource Summary
($ in thousands)


FY 2006

Actual

FY 2007

Estimate

FY 2008

Request

Appropriation Total

1,411

1,285

1,530


FY 2006 Actual reflects the rescission of 0.28% provided through the Science, State, Justice, Commerce, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006 (P.L. 109-108) and the general rescission of 1.0% provided through the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and Pandemic Influenza, 2006 (P.L. 109-148, Division B).


FY 2007 Estimate reflects the level provided by a Continuing Resolution (P.L. 109-289, Division B, as amended). This amount may change with the expected passage of a year-long CR.


Justification of Request



The FY 2008 budget request of $1,530,000 for the International Boundary Commission (IBC) will support the Treaty requirements to maintain the U.S - Canadian Boundary. To maintain the required effective boundary line between the U.S. and Canada, the IBC will conduct 5 field projects: (1) Vista reclearing of the North Line Maine NewBrunswick (33 miles); (2) Vista clearing of the 49th Parallel (84 miles) in Minnesota/Manitoba; (3) Resurvey of Monument Brook Maine/ New Brunswick; (4) Monumentation St. John River Maine/New Brunswick; and (5) Monument maintenance of the Lake of the Woods Minnesota/Ontario.

The IBC will continue its advisory and regulatory roles concerning construction crossing the boundary and to provide boundary specific information and technical data to the public and private sectors.

Program Description

The IBC is obligated by the Treaty of 1925 to maintain an "effective" boundary line between the United States and Canada. The Treaty specifies that, to be "effective", the boundary line must be accurately delineated and marked with stable identifying monuments, offering a 20-foot wide clear line-of-sight (vista) from one boundary monument to the next along the entire 5,525 mile border. The IBC maintains more than 5,500 boundary monuments and more than 2,800 reference monuments which are used to locate the water boundary. To preserve the integrity of the international boundary line, the IBC regulates construction crossing the boundary and provides boundary-specific positional and cartographic data to the public and private sectors. The IBC appropriation provides funds to implement U.S. obligations under the Treaty, thereby maintaining and preserving an effective boundary line between the two countries that ensures the sovereignty of each nation over its territory by clearly establishing where one's rights and responsibilities end and the other's begins, thus virtually eliminating the potential for serious and costly boundary disputes.

Although the boundary was cleared, surveyed and marked years ago, a cyclical program of maintenance is required to sustain an effective boundary line. The necessity of continuous maintenance is due to the deterioration/destruction of boundary monuments and to brush and timber overgrowth obstructing the 20-foot wide vista.

The IBC has begun to convert all North American Data (NAD) map coordinates that currently define the boundary between NAD 27 and 83 positions.

The FY 2007 request of $1,285,000 will fund the IBC operations and 4 boundary maintenance projects:
1) Repair and maintenance of the Range Towers in Point Roberts, WA; 2) Clearing boundary vista and monument maintenance along the North Line and Monument Brook, Maine/New Brunswick (87 miles); 3) Monument maintenance and vista clearing of the 49th Parallel Minnesota/Manitoba (60 miles); and 4) GPS survey of the 49th Parallel Montana/ British Columbia.

Benefits

A well-marked and maintained boundary supports the missions of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, especially in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks. A well-defined boundary is necessary so that persons coming upon the boundary anywhere along its length know what country they are in, and thus what laws they are under. An ambiguous boundary line would needlessly complicate and disrupt the business of government and private industry as well as the lives of the people living and working along it.



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