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 exist.

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

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

For Release: June 22, 1998

Contacts: Jill Eynon
Fabien Lengellé Washington, D.C.
Ottawa, Ontario (202) 736-9023
(613) 995-0088