For Immediate Release
International Joint Commission Seeks Public Comment on
Study of St. Croix River Water Levels and Flows
The International Joint Commission (IJC) invites public comment on the
final report of its
Steering Committee that examined how water levels and flows in the St. Croix River system are
regulated. Comment may be provided in writing by October 23, 1998 or at a public meeting to be
held August 26 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (U.S.) at the Danforth Town Hall in
The Steering Committee's report recommends no changes to the IJC Orders of Approval. The
Orders of Approval set water level and flow requirements for four dams on the international
portion of the St. Croix River system: Forest City Dam at the outlet of East Grand Lake,
Vanceboro Dam at the outlet of Spednic Lake, Grand Falls Dam and Milltown Dam.
The IJC established the Steering Committee in 1993 and asked it to review the Orders of
Approval after concerns about water levels and flows had been expressed at public meetings
during the summer of 1992. The Steering Committee consists of members of the IJC's
International St. Croix River Board of Control and its International Advisory Board on Pollution
Control-St. Croix River.
A Stakeholders Group, consisting of representatives from over 40 agencies, municipalities,
businesses, waterway associations and other groups, was also formed to assist the Steering
Committee and its Working Group. The Stakeholders Group conducted a survey to determine the
views and preferences on water management from a range of interests in the watershed.
The Working Group modelled proposals made by the Stakeholders Group and determined that
adding a minimum level for Grand Falls Lake (above Grand Falls Dam) was the only proposal
that met the requirements of the IJC's Orders, domestic regulatory requirements and
nonregulatory user-preferences that are currently being accommodated. The proposed minimum
level is already being observed by Georgia-Pacific Corporation, the owner and operator of Grand
Falls Dam. The Working Group also developed a "modified scenario" that combined all
stakeholder proposals and modified them slightly in an attempt to increase the chances of
success. It was not possible to meet the objectives of the modified scenario in the modelling
effort based on the 20 years of water supply data available to the Working Group.
The Steering Committee also identified the U.S. regulatory requirement of a 750 cubic foot per
second minimum flow at Baring Maine as a significant constraint to changing how water levels
and flows are regulated in the St. Croix River. The IJC has asked its International Advisory
Board on Pollution Control-St. Croix River to review this requirement in conjunction with the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
Written comments on the final report of the Steering Committee should be sent to the IJC at one
of the addresses below for receipt by October 23, 1998. The report is available on the World
Wide Web at www.ijc.org or from either of the following addresses:
|International Joint Commission
United States Section
1250 23rd Street, NW, Suite 100
Washington, D.C. 20440
Tel: (202) 736-9000
Fax: (202) 736-9015
|International Joint Commission
100 Metcalfe Street, 18th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1P 5M1
Tel: (613) 995-2984
Fax: (613) 993-5583
Copies of the technical report of the Working Group, as well as copies of the Steering
Committee's final report, are available for inspection at the following locations:
- Calais City Building, 5 Church Street, Calais, Maine
- Town of Danforth Office, Central Street, Danforth, Maine
- McAdam Town Office, 146 Saunders Road, McAdam, New Brunswick
- St. Stephen City Office, 34 Milltown Boulevard, St. Stephen, New Brunswick
- St. Croix International Waterway Commission, Highway #1 (near the traffic circle), St.
Stephen, New Brunswick
Copies of the Steering Committee's final report may also be requested from the St. Croix
International Waterway Commission at #8, Highway #1, St. Stephen, New Brunswick E3L 2Y7
or at P.O. Box 610, Calais, ME 04619. Telephone (506) 466-7550.
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. 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 www.ijc.org on the World Wide Web.