Outflow from Lake Ontario won’t increase, for now

wwny Outflow from Lake Ontario won’t increase, for now

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Outflow from Lake Ontario won’t increase, for now.

The Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Board of Control met for two hours Friday afternoon and decided to hold off on increasing outflow from the lake through the dams in Massena.

Right now, 367,300 cubic feet per second of water is flowing out of the lake, tying the 2017 record.

“The board is making active preparations to exceed that outflow and these higher outflows would create exceptional conditions in the St. Lawrence River.” Tony David, a member of the American section of the River Board, told 7 News late Friday afternoon.

“We want to make sure that if hazardous conditions are created somewhere in the system, the appropriate authorities are aware of these changes.” David said the issue of increasing outflow will be revisited next week.

David said specifically people who use the river for recreation need to be alerted because they “may have never experienced these flows before."

'This is really uncharted territory. Any increase would be testing the absolute limits of the system."

Any increase will result in Seaway navigation halting, he said.

“It’s very clear from the feedback we’re getting from the captains that they could not tolerate any increase in outflows," David said.

Separately, the International Joint Commission, which oversees the River Board, was meeting Friday. That board was expected to discuss whether the widely criticized “Plan 2014” for regulating water levels on the lake and river should be suspended.

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