Nonpoint source pollution abatement in the Great Lakes Basin: An overview of post-PLUARG developments
Nonpoint sources of pollution within the Great Lakes basin have been recognized as a significant, in some cases, critical factor in pollutant loadings. It has become clear that achievement of the phosphorus reduction targets of the 1978 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement is not feasible without significant reductions in nonpoint source phosphorus. In 1972 the Pollution From Land Use Reference Group (PLUARG) of the International Joint Commission (IJC) was established for the purpose of determining the levels and causes of pollution from land use activities and recommending appropriate remedial actions. PLUARG reported its findings and recommendations to the IJC in 1978. As a result, the IJC forwarded a set of recommendations to the Parties in 1980. To date there has been no formal response from either Parties to these recommendations. Despite this lack of formal response, it is apparent that some activities related to nonpoint source pollution control have been initiated by various agencies and groups throughout the basin since PLUARG submitted its recommendations. In 1981, the Water Quality Board, International Joint Commission, established a Nonpoint Source Control Task Force to review and evaluate the effectiveness of these activities in reducing nonpoint pollution during the past five years. In its report to the Water Quality Board, the Task Force has provided an overview of the post-PLUARG state-of-the-art in terms of the extent of implementation and effectiveness of various nonpoint programs in the Great Lakes basin. The report also reviews various scientific and technical issues which were identified by PLUARG and which require further investigation and the status of PLUARG's recommendations. The following summarizes the Nonpoint Source Control Task Force's assessment of post-PLUARG developments, and presents its recommendations for further action.