New York State Senator Mike Nozzolio and State Assemblyman Bob Oaks joined together to call on the area's Federal Representatives to oppose plans changing the way Lake Ontario water levels are regulated. These changes will result in establishing a manmade disaster of catastrophic economic impact to Wayne County and the entire northern tier of New York State.
In letters to United States Congresswomen Louise Slaughter, Congressman Dan Maffei, United States Senators Kirstin Gillibrand and Charles Schumer, Senator Nozzolio and Assemblyman Oaks strongly urged them to oppose any action on the International Joint Commission (IJC)’s Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Plan 2014, until measures are taken to protect the properties of those who have homes and businesses along the Lake Ontario shoreline. Senator Nozzolio and Assemblyman Oaks also wrote directly to Lana Pollack, United States Delegation Chairwoman of International Joint Commission, sharing their opposition to PLAN 2014.
“The sustained high levels of water called for in PLAN 2014 will result in drastically increased erosion damage to the shoreline. It will create problems in our local water and sewage treatment plants and damage our roads and highways, thus forcing town and county taxpayers to assume additional tax burden. The policy changes suggested during periods of high water could also submerge the main business and recreation districts in low lying communities like the Village of Sodus Point and other towns and villages along the Lake Ontario shoreline,” said Senator Mike Nozzolio.
“Implementation of Plan 2014 would break a 50 year contract that existed between the Federal government and the counties, communities, residents and business owners along the south shore of Lake Ontario. Increased flooding and damage to the shoreline would ultimately create economic losses that would be a disaster for local communities. Implementing such a plan would be reckless and I will work with Senator Nozzolio and local supervisors and mayors to do all we can to stop this plan from being implemented,” said Assembly Bob Oaks.
The proposed regulations would allow water levels in Lake Ontario to consistently fluctuate outside the parameters that have been in place for over 50 years, causing the loss of shoreline, erosion damage to property and flooding in lakefront areas of Wayne, Monroe, and Cayuga Counties. PLAN 2014 is a slightly revised version of the IJC’s BV7 plan, which was widely criticized by lakefront homeowners, businesses, and municipalities.
“A moratorium on the development of any future proposals by the IJC is needed until a thorough, objective and all inclusive analysis of the potential economic damages to tourism, recreation, business and homes along the south shore of Lake Ontario, can be undertaken,” said Senator Nozzolio and Assemblyman Oaks. “As New York State Legislators representing the many communities that are directly affected by the water levels of Lake Ontario, we remain strongly opposed to the IJC's proposed plan to regulate the water levels along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence Seaway. We are urging the IJC and our federal representatives to scrap the current plan and start again using the information and personal testimony from the individuals and business owners who live and work in the areas most affected by this plan.”
Senator Nozzolio and Assemblyman Oaks are also urging members of the public to contact their Federal Representatives and share their concern with the International Joint Commission’s Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Plan 2014, which was recently recommended to the United States Congress for approval.