International Joint Commission
United States and Canada


August 15 th , 2003  

IJC Assists in Electrical Emergency

In response to the current electrical emergency affecting large areas of Canada and the United States, the International Joint Commission and its International St. Lawrence River Board of Control authorized increased outflows from Lake Ontario through the St. Lawrence River. These increased outflows permit Ontario Power Generation and New York Power Authority to operate their hydropower facilities at Cornwall, Ontario, and Massena, New York, at capacity, thus contributing badly-needed additional power to the grid.

Outflows were increased beginning at 4:00 a.m. Friday, August 15, from approximately 7,270 cubic meters per second (257,000 cubic feet per second) to approximately 9,000 cubic meters per second (318,000 cubic feet per second). The increased outflows are expected to continue while electric service is being restored.

“We are concerned about those affected by these widespread power outages,” said The Right Honourable Herb Gray, Canadian Chair of the International Joint Commission. “I’m pleased we can contribute in some way to recovery efforts.”

“Our Board is carefully monitoring the situation and keeping those affected by the increased flows informed,” said U.S. Commissioner Irene Brooks. “We hope that the electrical situation is restored in short order.”

The International Joint Commission is an international organization established by the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to prevent and resolve disputes over the use of waters shared by the United States and Canada. Its responsibilities include approving certain projects that change the natural levels and flows of boundary waters, such as the St. Lawrence River. The International St. Lawrence River Board of Control provides direct oversight of outflows through the approved project. For more information on the Commission, please visit .

Contact: Frank Bevacqua      Washington      (202) 736-9024

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