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Agency Warns Against Budget Cuts

July 21, 1998

OTTAWA (AP) _ Budget cuts in Canada and the United States have jeopardized the struggle to clean up the Great Lakes, the agency responsible for managing boundary waters said Tuesday.

Cuts by provincial, state and federal governments have resulted in wholesale elimination of pollution monitoring and enforcement programs, the International Joint Commission said in a biennial report.

The report noted some signs of progress, such as the return of bald eagles and several fish species which had almost disappeared from the lakes. But it also charges that political will to pursue the cleanup is flagging.

``Programs to restore and protect the Great Lakes have drastically slowed or halted,″ the agency said.

Deregulation of the electrical sector and the restructuring of Ontario’s power monopoly may lead to higher pollution as airborne pollution from coal-fired generating plants winds up in the lakes, the report warns.

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