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Great Lakes Binational Toxics Strategy 10th Anniversary Report released


The U.S.- Canadian Great Lakes Binational Toxics Strategy marks its 10th anniversary this month with its annual report, which presents progress toward the goal of virtually eliminating persistent toxic substances such as mercury, PCBs and dioxin from discharging into the Great Lakes environment. In 1997, EPA and Environment Canada established 17 source- and emissions-reduction goals for the United States and Canada.

Over the past 10 years, both governments -- with the help of state, provincial, tribal and local governments and stakeholders from industry, academia, environmental and community groups -- have worked together to reduce the use and release of targeted toxic substances. To date, 12 of the 17 goals have been met, and the rest are well advanced.

The report discusses the significant voluntary projects of the strategy, such as the burn barrel outreach campaign and the wood stove exchange campaign, some of which have been adopted nationally on both sides of the border. The report also presents trends of these substances in gull eggs and fish as well as open water, air and sediment. Overall, significant environmental improvements have been realized for legacy pollutants in the Great Lakes. Looking forward, new challenges are presented by emerging substances of concern, such as flame retardants.

The U.S. - Canadian Great Lakes Binational Toxics Strategy 10th anniversary annual report is available at For more information about the strategy, please contact Ted Smith, U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office, 312-353-6571 or


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