Reps. Katko and Brindisi Call for Immediate Action from International Joint Commission and International Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Board to Address Rising Water Levels on Lake Ontario

May 1, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Rep. John Katko (NY-24) and Anthony Brindisi (NY-22) continued to call upon the International Joint Commission (IJC) and International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board to address rising water levels in Lake Ontario. Several Lake Ontario coastal communities have recently reported severe flood conditions stemming from heightened water levels.

In a bipartisan letter to Lana Pollack, Chair of the IJC U.S. Section, the lawmakers requested information regarding the Commission’s plans to mitigate flood risks and prevent a major flooding event.

“We are requesting that the IJC and the International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board provide our offices with detailed information regarding ongoing efforts to prevent a major flooding event similar to the one experienced in 2017,” wrote Katko and Brindisi.

This is the second letter sent by Reps. Katko and Brindisi requesting IJC action to reduce flood damage in coastal communities.

The full text of the April 30 letter is below.


April 30, 2019

The Honorable Lana Pollack

U.S. Section Chair and Commissioner

International Joint Commission – U.S Section

1717 H Street NW, Suite 801

Washington, DC 20006

Dear IJC Chair Pollack,

We are writing to request immediate action by the International Joint Commission (IJC) and the International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board to address the severe flood conditions currently facing communities along the southern shore of Lake Ontario.

As you know, water levels on Lake Ontario currently stand well above historic averages and are expected to continue rising in the coming days. As constituents in our districts take necessary steps to prepare for severe flooding, the IJC and the International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board must take substantive action to address the serious threat that currently faces coastal communities.

With this in mind, we are requesting that the IJC and the International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board provide our offices with detailed information regarding ongoing efforts to prevent a major flooding event similar to the one experienced in 2017. Specifically, please outline the expected course of action for outflows through the Moses-Saunders Dam, as well as efforts that will be taken to ensure the interests of our coastal communities are reflected in actions taken by the International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter and we look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

John Katko, Member of Congress

Anthony Brindisi, Member of Congress