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Interim deal keeps feds involved in Experimental Lakes Area

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The Harper government won’t be able to wash its hands of the Experimental Lakes Area research station just yet, according to the Globe and Mail.

Ottawa has struck a last-minute interim deal on the transfer of the ELA that will keep the federal government involved at the research station at least for the short term.

The federal government will keep running ELA to oversee a massive cleanup of the 27,000-hectare site, located in northwestern Ontario near Kenora.

Winnipeg-based International Institute for Sustainable Development will monitor water on the ELA lakes. The Ontario government, which owns the land and has promised up to $2 million annually to run the station, will provide site security and provide some interim funding.

The interim plan will be unveiled by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne on Monday in Kenora, the Globe said.

The Harper government had threatened to close the site on Sept. 1 if no transitional agreement was reached. Talks will continue to try to reach a full transfer agreement.

The Experimental Lakes has been the site of critical research for the past 40 years. The research has produced groundbreaking discoveries on the effects of acid rain, mercury and phosphates on freshwater lakes.

The Harper government announced plans last year to stop its funding.

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