IJC taking comments on Lake Ontario water management plan in response to flooding from 2017, 2019

Posted 18 February 2022 at 8:50 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: This photo from May 2017 shows sandbags stacked by the shoreline in Kendall.

Press Release, International Joint Commission

The International Joint Commission released for public comment the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Adaptive Management Committee’s (GLAM Committee) report “ Expedited Review of Plan 2014, Phase 1: Informing Plan 2014 Deviation Decisions Under Extreme Conditions.”

Comments can be submitted online until Monday, April 18.

The IJC directed the GLAM Committee to conduct the Expedited Review of Plan 2014, the plan for regulating Lake Ontario outflows, in response to public concerns over Plan 2014 following the extreme wet conditions that caused record floods in 2017 and in 2019. The purpose of this two-phased review is to investigate possible improvements that could be made to Lake Ontario outflow regulation activities.

The GLAM Committee has concluded Phase 1 of the Expedited Review of Plan 2014 which focused on providing additional information to help inform the critical decisions made by the IJC’s International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board (ILOSLRB) to best manage Lake Ontario outflows under extreme conditions.

Phase 1 also focused on collecting and analyzing data on high-water impacts on interests, including but not limited to shoreline homes, marinas and commercial shippers. This research led to creation of a decision support tool that informs the Board about the real-world impacts of its decisions and provides insight into how different deviations would perform under various future water supply conditions.

Phase 2 of the Expedited Review will look at how Plan 2014 addresses extreme high and low water levels and explore possible adjustments to the regulation plan. Currently underway, Phase 2 is tentatively scheduled to conclude in late 2024.

The GLAM Committee’s report on the Phase 1 of the Expedited Review of Plan 2014 is available for public comment until Monday, April 18, 2022.

The feedback received during the public comment period will be considered by the IJC and will inform its own findings that will be submitted to the governments of Canada and the United States.