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MEDIA RELEASE

Lake Ontario Outflows Set to Provide Relief from Low Levels on Lake St. Lawrence

In order to provide relief from near-record low water levels on Lake St. Lawrence, the International St. Lawrence River Board of Control adopted a regulation strategy on August 19, 1998, that will reduce Lake Ontario outflows by approximately two percent below the regulation plan flow.

The strategy calls for:

  • Flows 200 cubic metres per second (7,100 cubic feet per second) less than the Plan 1958-D flow for the three-week period starting August 20, 1998;
  • Plan 1958-D flows from September 10, 1998 through October 9, 1998;
  • Flows 200 cubic metres per second (7,100 cubic feet per second) less than the Plan 1958-D flow from October 10-12, 1998;
  • Flows higher than the Plan 1958-D flow beginning October 15, 1998 to eliminate all earlier deviations, before the end of the navigation season if possible. A level of 72.6 metres (238 feet) will be maintained at Long Sault to promote safe navigation.

The Board's strategy is intended to provide a measure of relief to riparians and recreational boaters in the Lake St. Lawrence area. It will provide up to 10 centimetres (four inches) of water level increase on Lake St. Lawrence and raise the level of Lake Ontario up to three centimetres (one inch).

The level of Lake St. Lawrence is currently about 72 centimetres (28 inches) below average and near its record low level for this time of year. Lake Ontario is currently just below its long term average for this time of year.

Under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909, the International Joint Commission approves 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. The International St. Lawrence River Board of Control was established by the Commission to ensure that flows through the international hydropower project 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 Immediate Release

Contacts:

Frank Bevacqua International Joint Commission (202) 736-9024
Fabien Lengellé International Joint Commission (613) 995-0088
John Kangas International St. Lawrence River Board of Control (312) 353-4333
Ed Eryuzlu International St. Lawrence River Board of Control (613) 990-5617

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