WXXI AM News

U.S. Senate confirms three new members of the IJC

May 16, 2019

Senator Chuck Schumer says that the U.S. Senate has voted to confirm three new members of the International Joint Commission. That is the joint U.S.- Canadian regulating body that can have some impact on Lake Ontario levels.

Schumer, a New York Democrat and the Senate Minority Leader, says that the Senate has confirmed former Republican Assembly member Jane Corwin, who will be the U.S. chairwoman of the IJC, as well as nominees Robert Sisson and Lance Yohe.

In March, Schumer voiced support for all three nominees to ensure the IJC was appropriately staffed to help deal with rising lake levels.

Schumer says that he now urges Canada to “do its part to nominate and pass the Canadian IJC members so the Commission can meet a quorum.”

A number of people and businesses along the south shore of Lake Ontario have been stockpiling sandbags and getting pumps ready since the lake has been about two feet higher than its long term average, and getting closer to the level it had in 2017 when flooding caused a lot of damage to communities along the shoreline.

A number of political leaders in New York state have been calling for the IJC to take additional action to help mitigate flooding concerns. The International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board can have some impact on the lake level through a dam on the St. Lawrence, but it also has to take into account flooding that has been affecting parts of Quebec.