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August 25, 2010

Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Working Group holds fourth meeting

The Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Working Group held its fourth meeting in Toronto, Ontario on August 24, 2010.

At the meeting, the Working Group discussed with its subgroup of technical experts a potential new approach for managing the flow of water in the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River system. The Working Group agreed to develop possible elements of the new approach, including governance, best management practices and communications. It also set-up a subgroup to establish a process for monitoring and adapting to changing conditions in the system. The Working Group will meet again in early November in Washington, D.C.

The Working Group is an ad hoc group made up of senior representatives of the federal governments of Canada and the United States, the governments of Quebec, Ontario and New York, and the International Joint Commission (IJC). Its purpose is to provide advice in response to Commission proposals on the future regulation of water levels and flows in the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River system.

The IJC approved the construction and operations of the Moses-Saunders Dam, located at Massena, New York and Cornwall, Ontario under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909. Regulation of the flow of water through the dam affects levels and flows on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River downstream to Trois-Rivières, Quebec. The IJC has been working to find an approach to regulating levels and flows that takes all interests - environmental, social and economic - into account. The IJC will consider the Working Group's advice, and will seek public comment and the concurrence of the two federal governments on any proposal to change the current approach to regulation.

The International Joint Commission prevents and resolves disputes between the United States of America and Canada under the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty and pursues the common good of both countries as an independent and objective advisor to the two governments.


Ottawa Bernard Beckhoff (613) 947-1420
Washington Frank Bevacqua (202) 736-9024

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