U.S. and Canada update Great Lakes environmental pact

Rebecca Harrington

Officials from the U.S. and Canada finally updated the 40-year-old Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, The New York Times reported.

The pact's updates include sections to combat pollution and invasive species in the water bordering the U.S. and Canada. Lisa Jackson, Environmental Protection Agency chief, and Peter Kent, Canadian Environment minister, signed the document on Friday.

"This agreement is more than just a commitment to each other," the Pioneer Press reported Jackson said. "It is also a commitment to those who will come after us, showing them the importance of leaving the Great Lakes in better shape than they were when we inherited them."

The two nations signed the original pact after the infamous incident in 1969 when the Cuyahoga River in Ohio was so polluted that it caught fire.

Canadian scientist Ted Yuzyk told The New York Times he was not sure how effective the updated agreement would be.

"It really depends on the resources the governments are prepared to commit to some of these issues,” he said.