Senator Farley, Assemblyman Butler, Assemblywoman Sayward Continue to be Concerned by Regulatory Proposal to Open Great Sacandaga Lake Shorelines

Hugh T. Farley

May 28, 2009

State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C - Schenectady), Assemblyman Marc Butler (R - Herkimer), and Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward (R, I – Willsboro) continue to be concerned with the latest development in the Great Sacandaga Lake permit system. At the recommendation of the State Department of Environmental Conversation (DEC), the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District (HRBRRD) is proposing to dramatically overturn the longstanding permit system and allow the entire lake's shorelines to become completely open to the public.

Last week, Assemblyman Butler, Assemblywoman Sayward and Senator Farley contacted Governor Paterson, HRBRRD and the Governor's Office of Regulatory Reform (GORR) in opposition to the proposed rules.

Senator Farley said, "Several years ago, HRBRRD proposed new rules and regulations regarding the Sacandaga permit system that did not take into account the concerns of the permit holders. After hearing the public's outrage, HRBRRD scrapped their plans and began a two-year process of reaching out to permit holders and other concerned parties for their input in creating new regulations for the lake. Earlier this month, after numerous public hearings, the regulations were submitted up the chain of command to the DEC, which then recommended drastic changes to the regulations. Because of this, the regulations should be withdrawn and further input from the public should be sought."

Assemblyman Butler said, "People who live along the lake are concerned that once the permit system goes away, or is revised to the point that anyone can access the lake from anywhere, it will allow others to trespass on their private property. While DEC officials believe the proposal would require everyone who wants to get to the lake do so from a public boat launch or public beach, minimizing traffic at the public access points, how do you enforce that? If a person trespasses on public property to get to the lake, will DEC have officials on hand to arrest that person?"

Assemblywoman Sayward said, "The new regulations pose some serious concerns to the people who have had continuous use of waterfront property through the permit system. There are unanswered liability and safety issues that must be adequately addressed before permanent rules are put in place."

"The new proposal goes against the permit system that was in place for numerous decades," Senator Farley said. "It goes against public input and the rights of the upstate people who live along the lake."

Senator Farley urges permit holders to also reach out to the agencies governing the Great Sacandaga Lake -- HRBRRD, DEC, GORR, and Governor Paterson.