On Thursday, December 8th, Commissioners of the U.S.- Canada International Joint Commission signed an updated order of approval for the regulation of water levels and flows in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.
The original Plan was adopted by IJC, which oversees Great Lakes issues, in mid-2014 . Adoption of the plan came after more than a decade of study and updating the existing 1950s-era regulatory plan.
To be enacted, Plan 2014 must be approved by the federal governments of both the United States and Canada. The updated order makes it possible for the IJC to approve Plan 2014.
The news of the Plan’s approval drew a lot of comments.
Save Our Sodus along with residents of the South Shore of Lake Ontario opposes Plan 2014.
“May leave our lakeshore vulnerable.”
“With the approval of Plan 2014 comes great risk to many of our community’s home and business owners. Under Plan 2014, the higher lake levels may leave our lakeshore vulnerable to substantial flooding and increased erosion, resulting in significant damages to both private properties and public infrastructure. Relying on the last 50 years of lake-level standards, homeowners and businesses along the shore of Lake Ontario have invested their time and money into protecting their properties and Plan 2014 jeopardizes those investments.” — Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo.
Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo. (Photo: OLIVIA LOPEZ / @OLOPEZ4 /file photo)
Dave McDowell, President of the Board of Directors of Save Our Sodus, Inc.
“Absolutely do harm.”
“I’m very disappointed in our state and federal representatives and our senators for allowing this to happen. This will absolutely do harm to five or six of the counties on the south shore of Lake Ontario at some point. And doing harm to any stakeholder … was specifically prohibited by the IJC charter.” — Dave McDowell, president of Save Our Sodus.
“The Challenge To This Should Be A Legal One”
“I am incredibly disappointed with today’s announcement that Plan 2014 will move forward. Despite the last-ditch actions taken by the administration today, I will continue to work with all levels of government — including the incoming administration — as well as stakeholders and community members to pursue every possible course to ensure that our shoreline is protected and to mitigate the impact of this decision.” — U.S. Rep. John Katko, R-Camillus, Onondaga County.
Republican Rep. John Katko, D&C Staff photo
U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, Essex County, New York
“Critical to our economic growth.”
“Plan 2014 is critical to our local economic growth in addition to good environmental policy, and I applaud this important decision. Better regulating the water levels of the St. Lawrence will ensure that users — from boaters to commercial fisherman — can continue to enjoy the river. Lowering the impact of invasive species will ensure that outdoor recreationists can enjoy the river for decades to come. — U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, Essex County.
“If the International Joint Commission thinks for a second that Plan 2014 will ever be fully implemented, they are sorely mistaken. I can guarantee you that I will do everything in my power to protect the taxpayers, homeowners and small businesses along the Lake Ontario shoreline that are set to be devastated by this bureaucratic disaster.” — U.S. Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence, Erie County.
Republican Rep. Chris Collins
“Revitalize our environment.”
“Plan 2014 will protect and preserve some of upstate New York’s greatest assets — Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River and hundreds of miles of shoreline. We are grateful for this international, bipartisan decision to revitalize our environment and enhance the quality of life for all the people who live along the lake and river.” — Jim Howe, director, Nature Conservancy of Western and Central New York.
“Potential to endanger”
“This plan has extreme potential to endanger the homes and livelihood of the thousands of residents within the town of Greece. I fear for our residents and businesses along the lakeshore not only in Greece but along the entire shoreline. Since the introduction of the proposed Plan 2014, I have been outspoken against its passage.” — Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich.