INTERNATIONAL NIAGARA BOARD OF CONTROL

MINUTES OF THE SEPTEMBER 16, 2003 MEETING

  1. The Board met on September 16, 2003 at the Old Stone Inn in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The meeting was chaired by Mr. C. McLeod and began at 9:05 a.m. The meeting agenda (attached) was approved.


  2. Those participating were:
    Board Members
    United States
    COL G. E. Johnston
    (Alternate for BG Hawkins)
    Mr. C. G. Tjoumas
    Canada
    Mr. C. McLeod
     
    Mr. D. De Launay
    Secretaries
    Mr. J. W. Kangas Mr. L. J. Falkiner
    Working Committee
    LTC J. M. Hall
    Mr. D. Harding
    Mr. S. Thieme
    Mr. A. J. Sidoti
    Mr. R. J. Moulton
    Ms. J. Frain
    Mr. L. H. Christl
    Dr. H. Goertz
    Others
    Mr. R. Thomas
    Mr. R. Griffith
    Mr. T. McAuley
  1. The Board was given an update on Lake Erie levels and Niagara River flows. As of September 15th, Lake Erie was at 174.03 metres (570.96 feet) with a September 2003 running average thus far of 174.10 metres (571.19 feet), up 0.06 metres (0.20 feet) from September 2002 and 0.07 metres (0.23 feet) below the long-term average for September. Precipitation over the Lake Erie basin was 1 percent above the March through August long-term average. The Niagara River flow at Queenston was about 384 cubic metres per second (13,560 cubic feet per second) lower for March through August compared to the same period last year. The September forecast indicates that, with average supplies, the Lake Erie level is expected to remain below the long-term average for the next six months.


  2. Operation and maintenance of the Chippawa-Grass Island Pool Control Structure during the reporting period was discussed. As of the end of August, the accumulated deviations were at +0.50 metre-months (+1.64 foot-months), within the maximum allowable of +/-0.91 metre-months (+/-3.0 foot-months). Tolerances were suspended for one day in March and six days in April due to abnormally low flow conditions and for seven days in August due to operations as the result of actions taken in response to the electrical energy emergency. It was noted that there was no loss of power to the control structure during this emergency. A summary of Board responsibilities, actions taken and Board response associated with the blackout will be presented to the International Joint Commission in Ottawa in October. The Board was provided an update on maintenance to the structure and advised that replacement of breakers and switchgear that feed electrical power to the control structure's gates is scheduled for the first week of November 2003.

    The Board noted that, on March 19, gate settings in conjunction with plant diversions were employed to assist New York State Parks Police to successfully rescue a man from the brink of the Horseshoe Falls.


  3. The Board noted that discharge measurements to verify gauge ratings used to determine flows for water level management were completed at the International Railway Bridge Section in May 2003. A report will be completed prior to the next Board meeting. Measurement programs are scheduled for the Cableway (Ashland rating) Section and the Welland Supply Weir in 2004 and at the American Falls Section in 2005.

    The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation will install an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler in October. This will provide continuous real time calculation of flow through the supply weir for determination of flow entering the Welland Canal.


  4. The status of upgrades at the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant was discussed. Unit 7 is on schedule and will be returned to service in October. A further three units remain to be upgraded. The program will be completed by the fall of 2006. Testing that will determine water use of upgraded units 7, 11 and 12 has been re-arranged to April 2004.


  5. The Board was informed that the process for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) re-licensing of the New York Power Authority's Niagara Power Project is proceeding. FERC's Alternative Licensing Procedures are being followed. The Power Authority has held several stakeholder scoping meetings since the fall of 2002. A FERC scoping meeting was held in August 2003.


  6. Upgrade of Ontario Power Generation's Sir Adam Beck II Generating Station Unit 22 will be completed in December. Two units will then remain to be upgraded with the schedule calling for the program to be completed in November 2004. Testing that will determine water use of upgraded Unit 22 will be done in early April 2004.


  7. Expansion of Ontario Power Generation's facilities at Niagara was discussed. The Province of Ontario has directed that construction of a third tunnel proceed. In addition, a consultant has been retained to do a feasibility study on a fourth tunnel and expanded generation capacity. A report on this is due in early 2004.


  8. A draft of the Board's One Hundred First Semi-Annual Progress Report to the International Joint Commission was reviewed. Comments will be incorporated, the report printed and the Secretaries will forward copies to the Commission.


  9. A second draft of the Ice Boom Report for the 2002-2003 ice season was circulated prior to the meeting. Minor comments are to be incorporated and the Board agreed that the report be finalized, printed and the Secretaries forward copies to the Commission.


  10. An International Niagara Board of Control annual meeting with the public was held on the evening of September 15th in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Four members of the public attended the meeting. A presentation was given on the Board's membership, responsibilities and activities along with information on Great Lakes water levels. The next meeting with the public will be scheduled for the fall of 2004 at an American location in the Niagara area.


  11. The Board will provide an update to the Commission at the fall appearance on restoration of wetlands at Beaver Island, located at the southern end of Grand Island, New York.


  12. The Board agreed to meet in the spring of 2004 in the United States at a time and location to be determined.


  13. There being no other items of business, the Board meeting was adjourned at 11:45 a.m.

***************************************************

INTERNATIONAL NIAGARA BOARD OF CONTROL

Agenda for a meeting held
Tuesday, September 16, 2003
Niagara Falls, Ontario

  1. Approval of Agenda


  2. Update on Lake Erie/Niagara River water level and flow conditions


  3. Summary of operation and maintenance of the Chippawa-Grass Island Pool Control Structure


  4. Review discharge measurement programs for the Niagara River and Welland Ship Canal


  5. Status of New York Power Authority upgrade at the Robert Moses Niagara Power Project


  6. FERC licensing for Robert Moses Niagara Power Project


  7. Status of Ontario Power Generation upgrade at SAB II


  8. Review draft of the 101st Semi-Annual Progress Report


  9. Review of draft report on 2002-2003 Ice Season


  10. Retention of and access to Official Records


  11. Meeting with the Public


  12. Other Business


  13. Next Board meeting and IJC appearance

Top of page