International Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Board

About the Board


The International Saint Lawrence River Board of Control (ISLRBC) was established by the Commission in its 1952 Order of Approval. The Board's main duty is to ensure that outflows from lake Ontario meet the requirements of the Commission's Order. The Board also develops regulation plans and conducts special studies as requested by the commission.

The Orders provide 11 criteria for managing flows through the project. The first ten of these criteria, including the upper limit of the four-foot range for Lake Ontario water levels, are to be met when water supplies to Lake Ontario are within those experienced during the period of record (1860-1954). The eleventh criterion ( called criteria k) applies when water supplies are higher or lower than those experienced during this period. When higher, the outflow from Lake Ontario is to be regulated to provide all possible relief to both upstream and downstream property owners. When supplies are less than those during the period of record, the outflow is to be regulated to provide all possible relief to navigation and power interests. The full text of the 1956 Orders of Approval, including the 11 criteria, is available online.

The Board may deviate from plan flows under emergency conditions or winter operations. It may also use its limited discretionary authority when a change from plan flow can be made to provide benefits or relief to one or more interests without appreciably harming others, and without breaching the requirements of the order. The Board meets at least twice a year, eight to ten times by teleconference, and provides semi-annual reports to the Commission. It holds meetings with the public annually.