Specifically, the potential closing of the Seaway, will possibly lead to increased water outflow at Moses-Saunders dam to levels that would be unsafe for navigation and halt shipping on the St. Lawrence Seaway during December.
Moreover, this decision would impact farmers’ grain exports, manufacturing plant operations and disrupting deliveries of fuel, construction materials and road salt for winter safety to cites throughout the region.
Increasing outflows above the safe navigation limit, would lead to lowering of Lake Ontario levels less than four centimeters a week; Whereas, in a closure situation it will need up to two weeks to clear the ship traffic and removal of buoys duties, prior to the outflows.
Therefore, the Chamber highlights that the reduction will result to great costs to commercial navigation.
Yet, under the possibility that companies could find another way of transporting their goods, this would cost more and force many volumes of cargo onto thousands of trucks at the detriment to the environment and road congestion.
According to the Chamber, the fall is the busiest grain export season by the end of December; By March the elevator systems are normally full and pushing for Seaway vessels as soon as the system opens.
Also, U.S. and Canadian communities move road salt in great volumes at the end of the season and again at opening, as their inventories often struggle to make it through an entire winter.
Chamber of Marine Commerce President Bruce Burrows stated that
Halting St. Lawrence Seaway shipping altogether would cause major harm to our economy and achieve no noticeable benefit for flooding victims. We call on the IJC and government leaders to collaborate with affected stakeholders to find solutions that look at shoreline resiliency, flood management zones and what can be done during the winter when the St. Lawrence Seaway is closed to navigation.