March 25, 2004
IJC defers peaking and ponding decision to consider public comment
The International Joint Commission (IJC) has deferred its decision on whether to provide an additional two-year authorization to the Edison Sault Electric Company and Great Lakes Power Ltd. to conduct peaking and ponding operations in the St. Marys River, under the supervision of the IJC’s International Lake Superior Board of Control (the Board of Control).
The IJC will extend the current authority for peaking and ponding to the two power companies on a short-term, interim basis until the IJC considers a public comment regarding possible impacts on aquatic habitat and biota.
Peaking and ponding operations are carried out by the power companies to store water during times of off-peak demand and increase hydroelectric power generation during times of on-peak demand. Peaking is the variation of hourly flows within the daily average flow while ponding is the variation of daily flows within the weekly average flow (i.e. higher weekday flows and lower weekend flows).
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 uses of water that change the natural levels and flows of boundary waters, such as the use of St. Marys River water by the Edison Sault Electric Company and Great Lakes Power Ltd. The IJC established the International Lake Superior Board of Control to ensure that Lake Superior outflows are set in accordance with the IJC’s Orders of Approval and to conduct special studies as needed. More information, including the Board of Control’s report, is available on the IJC’s website at: