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MEDIA RELEASE

June 12, 2002

IJC acts to mitigate flooding in Rainy watershed

In light of the unprecedented rainfall since June 10, 2002, and potential for damage in the Rainy River and Rainy Lake watershed, the International Joint Commission (IJC) acted today to provide direction on how the outflows from Rainy Lake will be regulated. The IJC wishes to minimize any damage from high water levels in both portions of the watershed.

The outflow from Rainy Lake is regulated at dams operated by the Boise Cascade Corporation and Abitibi Consolidated under a January 2001 Consolidated Order issued by the IJC. The IJC’s International Rainy Lake Board of Control oversees operations of the dam to insure compliance with the IJC’s Order.

The International Rainy Lake Board of Control has briefed the IJC as high water conditions have developed on the Rainy River and Rainy Lake. The Rainy Lake water level of 337.90 metres (1108.6 feet), at which the Order calls for all gates at the dams to be fully open, has been exceeded. Currently seven out of the 15 gates are open. This setting has not been increased because communities on the Rainy River face an immediate threat of innundation.

Today the IJC issued a Supplementary Order that authorizes outflow deviations until June 20, 2002, and directs the International Rainy Lake Board of Control endeavor to bring the flows within the requirements of the Consolidated Order (all gates open) as soon as practicable, taking into account conditions upstream and downstream, and conditions at the dams. The International Rainy Lake Board of Control will continue to keep the IJC advised of conditions in the watershed on an ongoing basis.

The International Joint Commission regulates the levels of Rainy and Namakan Lakes under the 1938 Convention for Emergency Regulation of Rainy Lake and Boundary Waters in the Rainy Lake Watershed. For more information, visit our website at www.ijc.org

Contact:
Gerald Galloway IJC U.S. Section Secretary mobile phone: (202) 320-6043
Murray Clamen IJC Canadian Section Secretary mobile phone:
(613) 299-8383

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