February 28 Public Comment Deadline Established

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The Towns of Busti, Ellery, Ellicott & North Harmony along with the Villages of Bemus Point, Celoron & Lakewood in conjunction with the Chautauqua Lake Partnership (CLP) have applied to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to treat 1200+ acres of Chautauqua Lake with both Aquathol K (endothall) and Navigate (2,4-D). Although Letters of Notification were mailed by the CLP to numerous lakeside property owners throughout the affected areas, reports have been received that the mailing coverage was not complete. Also, reports have been received that other properties which possess lake rights did not receive notice. Similarly, property owners residing outside of the affected areas did not receive the notification despite the fact that they might otherwise recreate in the affected waters. This, therefore, is to advise our members and friends of the action should you wish to make a comment to NYSDEC.

Comments need to be filed by February 28 with Michael Nierenberg, NYSDEC Region 9 Bureau of Pest Management, 270 Michigan Avenue, Buffalo NY 14203. Absence of comment will be interpreted by NYSDEC to convey approval of the action. In order to be considered, objections to the action must demonstrate that the action will be harmful (i.e.: personal health sensitivity, destruction of non-target plant species that are otherwise needed for a healthy ecosystem, damage to fishery habitat resulting in harm to the fishery, drift impact on one’s lake edge buffer plantings). Copies of such communications should then be directed to NYS Assemblyman Andrew Goodell and NYS Senator Catharine Young, both having offices at the Fenton Building, 2-6 East Second Street, Jamestown NY 14701.

Although a map of the quarantine areas was provided with the notice, maps of actual treatment locations were not included. The Town/Village Clerks for each jurisdiction will need to be contacted to view the maps.

If approved by NYSDEC the herbicide program will be by far the largest program, both in cost and acreage, ever approved for implementation on Chautauqua Lake. Treatment will occur further out into the lake than has ever occurred before. The permit requests do not comply with the terms of the Macrophyte Management Strategy (MMS) that was developed by Chautauqua County in 2016 and in fact utilize a product (2,4-D) that was specifically banned by the MMS. The requests also do not comply with the Conservation Statement For Chautauqua Lake which was issued earlier this month by 10 lake-related entities as a consensus statement about proper lake management. A copy of the Statement is posted on the CLA’s website.

Douglas Conroe
Executive Director
Chautauqua Lake Association, Inc.
February 21, 2019