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Pollution from Land Use Activities Reference Group (PLUARG)

Article VI of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, 1972, requested that the International Joint Commission inquire into and report on "pollution of the boundary waters of the Great Lakes System from agricultural, forestry and other land use activities, in accordance with the terms of reference attached to this agreement". The International Joint Commission (IJC) established the International Reference Group on Great Lakes Pollution from Land Use Activities to plan and implement the requested study.

The PLUARG study program consisted of four major tasks as outlined in the Reference Group's February 1974 "Detailed Study Plan to assess Great Lakes Pollution from Land Use Activities".

  1. "TASK A is devoted to the collection and assessment of management and research information and, in its later stages to the critical analysis of implications of potential recommendations. (See Task "A" Reports)
  2. TASK B is first, the preparation of a land-use and land-use practices inventory, largely from existing data, and, second, the analysis of trends and projections in land-use patterns and practices to 1980 and, if possible, to 2020. The present land use report is to be completed in 1974, and a report on trends to be completed in 1975. The Task B report for the Canadian part of the Great Lakes Basin is contained in five volumes:
    • Volume I Canadian Great Lakes Basin Summary
    • Volume II Lake Superior Basin
    • Volume III Lake Huron Basin
    • Volume IV Lake Erie Basin
    • Volume V Lake Ontario Basin
  3. TASK C is the detailed survey of selected watersheds to determine the sources of pollutants, their relative significance and the assessment of the degree of transmission of pollutants to boundary waters.
  4. TASK D is to:
    1. obtain supplementary information on the inputs of materials to the boundary waters, their effect on water quality and their significance in these waters in the future and under alternative management schemes."
    2. diagnose the degree of impairment of water quality in the Great Lakes, including assessment of concentrations of contaminants of concern in sediments, fish and other aquatic resources. Activities during 1974 - 1976.

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