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U.S. Senate confirms new members to International Joint Commission

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ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) — Federal lawmakers have confirmed three new members of the International Joint Commission, Senator Schumer announced Thursday.

Jane Corwin has been confirmed as the next U.S. chairwoman of the IJC, and Robert Sisson and Lance Yohe were added as commissioners for the IJC.

The IJC is the agency that is responsible for overseeing water levels in Lake Ontario. A change to lake level guidance, called Plan 2014, has been blamed by some lake residents for flooding that has occurred in 2017 and 2019 to lakeside communities.

However, IJC leaders have pointed to rainfall totals for the issues.

In a statement, Senator Schumer writes, “With Lake Ontario’s high water levels continuing to rise and a repeat of 2017’s historic Lake Ontario flooding looking more possible by the day, ensuring that the International Joint Commission—which plays a paramount role in setting Lake Ontario’s water levels—is fully staffed and fully functional couldn’t be more important.”

He adds, “The filling of all three U.S. seats on the IJC is a major step in the right direction and will help prepare New York State for the absolute worst. I was proud to support the confirmation of these nominees to the IJC and look forward to working in lockstep with them to shield Lake Ontario communities from more devastating flooding.”

He concludes. “I now urge Canada to now do its part to nominate and pass the Canadian IJC members so the Commission can meet a quorum.”

In recent days, lake levels have continued to rise and are just inches from 2017 totals. Meteorologists say lake residents could be in for more problems if winds shift to the north.

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