Public Notice
March 18 , 2003

IJC authorizes peaking and ponding in St. Marys River
for an additional year

The International Joint Commission (IJC) has extended the authority for 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 International Lake Superior Board of Control (the Board of Control), until March 20, 2004.

The IJC made this decision after considering public comment and the advice of its Board of Control. The decision differs from the proposed IJC decision, which was circulated by public notice dated January 23, 2003, only in that the timeframe for the Board of Control to approve peaking and ponding operations, or suspend ponding operations, is not limited to the beginning of each month. The text of the IJC decision is provided below.

Peaking and ponding operations are carried out by the Edison Sault Electric Company and Great Lakes Power Limited 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).

IJC decision:
Until March 20, 2004, the power entities may conduct peaking and ponding operations under the supervision of the International Lake Superior Board of Control. Such operations shall be subject to prior approval from the Board and shall be conducted in a manner consistent with the mode of operation outlined in the power entities' February 8, 2002, submission to the IJC. The power entities shall coordinate peaking and ponding schedules with Board representatives at the beginning of each month. The Board may suspend ponding operations for the month, or a portion thereof, if it expects that ponding operations would result in sustained weekend levels at the U.S. Slip Gauge declining below chart datum elevation. The Board may also alter or suspend peaking or ponding operations or both when it determines that emergency conditions exist such as equipment failure at the hydropower facilities, ship incidents such as groundings, electrical system difficulties, extreme meteorological conditions, or other circumstances. Apart from the foregoing peaking and ponding operations and emergencies where immediate action is necessary, the IJC's advance approval shall be obtained through the Board for any other deviations from the flow determined by Regulation Plan 1977-A.

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. More information is available on the IJC's website at:

Tom McAuley, Ottawa, ON                       (613) 995-0433
Frank Bevacqua, Washington, D.C.            (202) 736-9024

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