OTTAWA – A local river advocate is one of 16 people named by the International Joint Commission to a new review group.
The IJC announced the appointment of Ault Island resident Cliff Steinburg (pictured) to the advisory group, which will seek improvements to regulating water levels and possible modifications to the controversial Plan 2014.
That plan manages water levels on Lake Ontario and the international section of the St. Lawrence River between the lake, and the Moses Saunders power dam in Cornwall. Plan 2014 is blamed by many residents for record setting floods in 2017 and 2019, and record setting low water levels in 2018.
“I hope that this group can come up with recommendations to offer more permanent solutions to the issues on the water,” Steinberg said.
He added that he was initially reluctant to join the committee when asked because he didn’t want to waste time telling the IJC what it already knew were problems with Plan 2014.
“But I believe if you are going to criticize something, you have to also be part of the solution,” Steinberg said.
In addition to contributing local knowledge about water level impacts, the Public Advisory Group members will act as go-betweens between IJC’s Great Lakes Adaptive Management Committee – which manages Plan 2014 – and stakeholder groups.
Phase one of the review of Plan 2014 will take place over the next 18 month, and will look at the high water outflows from Lake Erie and its effects on the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River region.
Phase two will review how Plan 2014 currently addresses extreme high and low water levels long term and what adjustments to the plan are needed.
Any changes to Plan 2014 will need approval by IJC.