June 19, 1998
Lake Ontario Outflows: Criterion (k) ends
On June 19, 1998, the International Joint Commission decided that criterion (k) no longer applies
to Lake Ontario outflows because the water supply conditions that triggered the provision no longer
Criterion (k) is a provision in the Commission's Order of Approval that applies when water supplies
to Lake Ontario fall outside the recorded range of supplies that existed when the Order of Approval
were issued in 1956. Criterion (k) is one of the requirements of the Order of Approval and directs
that Lake Ontario outflows will be set to "provide all possible relief to riparian owners upstream and
downstream," when water supplies are in excess of supplies of the past.
The Commission's decision was based on a recommendation by its International St. Lawrence River
Board of Control and the Board's determination that water supplies to Lake Ontario no longer
exceeded this threshold.
Criterion (k) was taken into account since February 3, 1998, following a dramatic increase in water
supplies to Lake Ontario during the month of January.
The Board will now be following Regulation Plan 1958-D to set Lake Ontario outflows and achieve
the regulation objectives in the Commission's Order of Approval.
The International Joint Commission was created under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to help
prevent and resolve disputes over the use of waters along the Canada-United States boundary. Its
responsibilities include approving certain projects that would change water levels on the other side
of the boundary, such as the international hydropower project at Massena, New York and Cornwall,
Ontario. If it approves a project, the Commission's Orders of Approval may require that flows
through the project meet certain conditions to protect interests in both countries. For more
information, visit the Commission's website at www.ijc.org.
The International St. Lawrence River Board of Control was established by the Commission. Its main
duty is to ensure that outflows from Lake Ontario meet the requirements of the Commission's Orders
of Approval. The Board also develops regulation plans and conducts special studies as requested by
the Commission. For more information, visit the Board's website at www.islrbc.org.
For Release: June 22, 1998