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IJC may boost Lake Ontario outflows above record levels

The International Joint Commission announced Monday that it is seeking responses from interested parties about possible increases in outflows from Lake Ontario above the record-tying level of nearly 2.75 million gallons per second, in effect since Thursday.

That's the upper limit regarded as safe for ships under Plan 2014, the IJC's Lake Ontario management plan. Some property owners and elected officials blame the plan for flooding and erosion damage, while the IJC blames unusually wet weather for record-high lake water levels.

"Before undertaking higher flows, the board is communicating with stakeholders to assess the impacts of these additional flows, to provide them an opportunity to prepare if outflows are increased," the IJC statement said. "The navigation industry is being notified that the board is exploring regulatory strategies that include increasing flows above the current outflow."

The International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board, an IJC subsidiary, decides how much water may flow past the hydropower dam at the eastern end of the lake.

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