As in last weekend’s Update, County Executive George Borrello has prepared the “Consensus Weed Management Strategy” Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) seeking all relevant lake organizations’ agreement. The legally-binding MOA was released on March 27. The Partnership, Towns and Villages and their lawyers have begun review of the MOA.
The Partnership has several concerns with the MOA.
A sampling of Partnership concerns:
- The legally-binding MOA, with its numerous ambiguous tenets, could result in more, not fewer, lawsuits against those signatories taking lake improvement action, primarily Towns and Villages, the Chautauqua Lake Partnership (Partnership) and the Chautauqua Lake Association.
- With no scientific or regulatory basis, the MOA would prohibit herbicide treatments “north of Long Point”. Although this might be reconsidered for 2020, this would eliminate previously-permitted areas offshore Midway Park, Sunset Bay and Warner Bay as well as the remainder of the North Basin: offshore Maple Springs, Dewittville Bay, Hartfield Bay, offshore Mayville, Irvins Bay, offshore Magnolia, Woodlawn and Victoria and Whitney Bay.
- Although a non-binding side letter has been considered, MOA signatories agree to be guided by an outdated and flawed Macrophyte Management Strategy (MMS) with a strong anti-herbicide bias contradicting recent NYSDEC permits.
- There is no mention of the 2018 Town of Ellery $250,000 Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement which, by law, guides herbicide permitting in Chautauqua Lake.
- The MOA attempts to limit the authority the people of New York has placed in the NYSDECto implement the law and protect the environment and people.
One suggestion has been to condition the document with at least the following contingencies: (1) evidence of science-based findings with DEC-agreement that herbicides should not be applied to any areas north of Long Point, and, (2) with regard to herbicides, to the extent that the permitting requirements contained in the Macrophyte Management Strategy conflict with NYSDEC herbicide permit applications or permits, requirements of the NYSDEC shall prevail.
The Partnership reviewed its MOA concerns with Town Supervisors and Village Mayors on Monday, April 1, 2019. On Friday, April 5, the Partnership reviewed the numerous herbicide treatment support activities with this same group and in what ways the Partnership might help in 2019. Conflicts between NYSDEC permits and the MOA and additional ambiguous requirements in the MOA may limit the Partnership’s ability to assist.
Several lakeside property owners have voiced their concerns to Mr. Borrello and their Town Supervisors and Village Mayors, including…
- Jim Wymer, Town of Ellery, addressed Mr. Borrello and the Town Board. Read the letter here.
- Dave Groth, Town of North Harmony, addressed Mr. Borrello and the Town Supervisor, Rob Yates. Read the letter here.
- Tony Hopfinger, Town of Ellicott, addressed Town Supervisor, Pat McLaughlin. Read the letter here.
We encourage you to do the same. Call or e-mail your concerns to Mr. Borrello and your Town Supervisor or Village Mayor. Although their response is not required until April 17, Towns and Villages will meet to discuss and potentially vote on the MOA starting Monday, April 12. So, time is of the essence…
Mr. George Borrello, County Executive
Mr. Pat McLaughlin, Town of Ellicott
Mr. Jesse Robbins, Town of Busti
Mr. Rob Yates, Town of North Harmony
Mr. Arden Johnson, Town of Ellery
Mr. Scott Schrecengost, Village of Celoron
Mr. Ted McCague, Village of Lakewood
Chautauqua Lake Partnership
April 6, 2019