INTERNATIONAL NIAGARA BOARD OF CONTROL

Approved minutes of the March 25, 2004 Meeting
Buffalo, New York

COL Johnston called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m. in the conference room of the Holiday Inn, Buffalo, New York.

Those in attendance were:

Board Members  
United States
COL G. Johnston, Alt. Chair
Mr. C. G. Tjoumas
Canada
Mr. C. McLeod, Chair
Mr. D. de Launay
Secretaries  
Mr. J. W. Kangas Mr. L. J. Falkiner
Working Committee and Associates
LTC J. M. Hall
Mr. S. Thieme
Mr. R. Thomas
Mr. D. Harding
Mr. A. J. Sidoti
Mr. R. Griffith
Mr. J. Chandler
Mr. F. Calgano
Mr. C. Woodruff
Mr. G. Cotroneo
Mr. R. J. Moulton
Ms. J. Frain
Mr. T. McAuley
Dr. P. Pilon
Mr. C. Southam

Item 1. Approval of Agenda
The Board added two items under Other Business on security issues and water level gauges (Enclosure 1).

Item 2. Update on Lake Erie/Niagara River water level and flow conditions
Mr. Falkiner provided the Board with an update of levels and precipitation for Lake Erie-Niagara River. Precipitation over the Lake Erie basin was reported to be 15 percent above average for the reporting period. Mr. McLeod suggested that the long-term average for water levels could be based on the last 30 years instead of the entire period of record and update that every 10 years or so. This would be in line with meteoro-logical practices. Mr. Kangas explained that this is not the approach accepted by the international community regarding Great Lakes water levels. Lake Erie outflows were below average during the reporting period. The 6-month forecast indicates that Lake Erie levels will remain below average.

Item 3. Review 2002-2003 Ice Season
Mr. Griffith provided a summary of the 2003-2004 ice boom season. Under the Commission’s 1999 Supplementary Order of Approval, installation of the spans may begin when the Lake Erie water temperature at Buffalo reaches 4 oC (39 oF) or on December 16, whichever comes first. This past winter, the water temperature reached 4 oC (39 oF) on December 15. Starting from the Canadian side, 8 spans were installed on December 16, 6 spans were installed on December 19, and the remaining 8 spans were completed on Dec 20. Ice began forming behind the boom on January 9.

An aerial survey on March 15th indicated 64% ice coverage on eastern Lake Erie. A second aerial survey indicated that the ice coverage increased to 80% on March 18 due to winds bringing in ice from the central Lake Erie basin. A March 22 survey indicated that 57% ice coverage remained. The Board will inform the Commission that ice boom opening will be delayed beyond April 1st. The next survey is scheduled for March 29.

Item 4. Summary of operation and maintenance of the Chippawa-Grass Island Pool Control Structure
Mr. Falkiner discussed the operation and maintenance of the Chippawa-Grass Island Pool Control Structure (CGIP) during the reporting period. The operation was in compliance with the Board’s 1993 Directive for regulation of the CGIP. Tolerances for regulation of CGIP levels were suspended on November 13 due to abnormally high flows and on March 16 and 17 due to abnormally low flows. Tolerances were also suspended on January 14 through 20, 24 through 31, and February 1, 2, 6 and 8 to assist in ice management. In addition, tolerances were suspended on February 23-24 as the result of life-saving operations. The Board noted that the issue of backup power for the control structure had been resolved.

Item 5. Review discharge measurement programs for the Niagara River and Welland Ship Canal
The Committee was informed of the present schedule of measurements at the International Railway Bridge Section in 2006, the Cableway (Ashland rating) Section in November of this year, and at the American Falls Section in 2005. The Welland Ship Canal measurements were completed earlier in this month.

The Board was provided with a report on the flow measurements at the International Railway Bridge last year. Problems were noted with one of the ADCP units being used, which may result in some of the data being discarded or adjusted. The remaining measurements compared well to the 2001 Buffalo rating curve, while the Fort Erie equation did not fit the data as well. The report will be finalized after further investigations into the data associated with the one meter. The Board was informed that the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) will install an acoustic velocity meter this year upstream of the supply weir to determine flows. This year’s measurements were done with conventional techniques and with a tethered boat/ADCP. It appears that the two data sets are in good agreement.

Item 6. Status of New York Power Authority upgrade at the Robert Moses Niagara Power Project
Mr. Harding reported the following:

  • Upgrades for 10 of 13 units at the New York Power Authority (NYPA) Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant (RMNPP) are now completed.
  • Work on Unit 7 was completed in October 2003.
  • Work on Unit 5 was started in January 2004 and is scheduled to be completed in October 2004.
  • Unit 9 upgrading is scheduled for 2005.
  • Unit 8 upgrading is scheduled for 2006.
  • Unit 7 will be Gibson tested in April 2004 and Units 7, 11 and 12 will be index tested.

Item 7. Re-Licensing for Robert Moses Niagara Power Project
The Board was provided with an update on NYPA’s re-licensing application for the Robert Moses Niagara Power Project licence. The license is due to expire on August 31, 2007. Mr. Harding informed the Board that NYPA is continuing the outreach programs. There are over 30 surveys and studies underway. Mr. Tjoumas stated that more than 20 stakeholders were identified. NYPA plans to file the documents by August 2005.

Item 8. Status of Ontario Power Generation upgrade at SAB
Ms. Frain informed the Board of the following:

  • 14 of the 16 units at the Ontario Power Generation (OPG) Sir Adam Beck II Generating Station have been rehabilitated.
  • Work on Unit 22 was completed in December 2003.
  • Work on Unit 13 was started in February 2004 and is expected to be complete by November 2004.
  • Work on Unit 14 is scheduled for July 2004-March 2005.
  • Units 21 and 22 to be index tested in November 2004.
  • Units 13 and 14 to be index tested in October 2005.

Item 9. Review draft of the 102nd Semi-Annual Progress Report
The Board reviewed a draft of the 102nd Semi-Annual Progress Report to the International Joint Commission. Comments and suggestions are related to the Executive Summary, discussion on FERC licensing process, and the ice boom. These comments will be incorporated into the report prior to submittal to the Commission. The Board noted that the 5-year review of the ice boom is due later this year. A report will be submitted to the Commission this fall.

Item 10. Meeting with the Public
The Board discussed the plans for the September 2004 annual meeting with the public in the Buffalo, New York area. The date and venue will be determined and the Commission will be informed of this at the April Appearance. The last meeting with the public was held in September, 2003, in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Item 11. Other Business: (a) Security issues, (b) Water level gages
(a) Mr. Tjoumas informed the Board of the upcoming meeting involving both U.S. and Canadian agencies to discuss the security issues at the power plants. This issue has been discussed previously with the Power Entities to address the concerns of the Commission. Mr. Frank Calgano informed that all FERC licensees completed vulnerability assessments last September. The Board previously agreed that details of the procedures need not be documented in Board related reports for security reasons. It is sufficient to report to the Commission that security issues are being assessed. The Board was also informed that the CGIP structure is not a vital structure, but security measures have been taken and that further assessment of security vulnerability will be done by OPG during the next several months as part of their review of all of their facilities.

(b) Mr. Thieme informed the Board that three Corps of Engineers gauges co-located with NYPA on the upper Niagara River would be dismantled. The Board did not have any objections to this.

Item 12. Next Board meeting and IJC appearance
The Board noted the April 20, 2004 schedule for the IJC Appearance. The next Board meeting will be scheduled for Fall 2004 with the date and venue to be determined. The meeting adjourned at 10:30 a.m.

 

INTERNATIONAL NIAGARA BOARD OF CONTROL

Approved minutes of the March 25, 2004 Meeting
Buffalo, New York

AGENDA
  1. Approval of Agenda
  2. Update on Lake Erie/Niagara River water level and flow conditions
  3. Review 2003-2004 Ice Season
  4. Summary of operation and maintenance of the Chippawa-Grass Island Pool Control Structure
  5. Review discharge measurement programs for the Niagara River and Welland Ship Canal
  6. Status of New York Power Authority upgrade at the Robert Moses Niagara Power Project
  7. FERC licensing for Robert Moses Niagara Power Project
  8. Status of Ontario Power Generation upgrade at SAB II
  9. Review draft of the 102nd Semi-Annual Progress Report
  10. Meeting with the Public
  11. Other Business
  12. Next Board meeting and IJC appearance.

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