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Both praise and concerns for the Niagara River Remedial Action Plan were doled out during an International Joint Commission session in Grand Island Thursday, as experts gathered to discuss what Commissioner Susan B. Bayh termed "the first step in changing the nature of the river."

"I think you have some challenges ahead," said Mrs. Bayh, the wife of Indiana Gov. Birch Bayh. "I think we have to work on the international cooperation."

In a session reviewing the plan developed after four years of work by the Niagara River Action Committee and the state conservation department, experts from around the lakes found much to praise but expressed concerns over current pollution estimates, definitions of some problems, and the fact that Canadian and U.S. committees are preparing separate remediation plans for the same river.

"The failure to pull together the U.S. and Canadian sides is very difficult to accept," said John Jackson of Great Lakes United and the St. Clair River advisory committee in Ontario. Canadian members of the International Advisory Committee coordinating both planning efforts also attended the meeting in the Grand Island Holiday Inn.

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