Greece town supervisor supports possible IJC overturn of Plan 2014

Local News

The IJC will be meeting soon to discuss Plan 2014 and the flooding on Lake Ontario. The plan was created to better control the water levels on the lake but it has caused controversy at the outset.

Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich said he received confirmation from Congressman Chris Collins that the IJC might call off Plan 2014. If this happens they would then revert back to the previous plan from 1958 but we’re finding out, it might not be that simple.

Some say Plan 2014 didn’t cause the flooding- some say it did.

In June of 2018, we spoke to a former IJC member who said overturning it won’t be easy.

“It’s going to be difficult because the way they wrote it they have to go back to the federal governments to get permission to make changes and that could be difficult, so they purposely made it so Plan 2014 couldn’t be modified quickly or easily,” said Frank Sciremammano

Reilich said Plan 2014 doesn’t allow for enough water to be let out in time to prevent flooding. He prefers the 1958 plan.

“In the old plan, they had more flexibility, more human intervention, more human decisions they could say, ‘hey we know the Great Lakes are high, we better get as much water out every day that we can because we know what’s coming,'” said Reilich.

Reilich also said he’s talked to one of the Canadian commissioners of the IJC, who said he doesn’t think suspension of Plan 2014 would prevent flooding.

“Even if you believe that, when you see this amount of destruction wouldn’t a reasonable person say maybe we outta tweak it a little bit make some minor changes because this isn’t what we really wanted,” said Reilich. 

A spokesperson for the IJC said they plan to meet sometime this week to discuss Plan 2014 and also said this in a statement:

IJC Commissioners are concerned about the flooding that is occurring this year and have focused their attention on gaining an understanding of the situation through visits to affected areas and expert briefings.

To address the immediate situation, the IJC’s International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board has increased the Lake Ontario outflow above the flow specified by Plan 2014. The flow is at the historic maximum rate. This is being done under the Board’s existing authority to deviate from Plan 2014 flows. The Board is setting Lake Ontario outflows as high as conditions on the St. Lawrence River will allow.

IJC Commissioners will meet in the near future to consider additional potential flood relief measures, as well as the performance of Plan 2014. Modification or suspension of Plan 2014 would be part of a longer-term process requiring the IJC Commissioners to reach consensus and the Governments of Canada and the United States to provide their concurrence.

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