The Chautauqua Lake Partnership and the Town of Ellery have petitioned the Supreme Court of the State of New York in Chautauqua County to invalidate the June 2020 New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) permit decisions. This Article 78 lawsuit contests the extremely limited NYS DEC approval of 2020 herbicide permit applications for Chautauqua Lake, specifically, the NYS DEC only approved 7 of the 178 acres requested by Ellery for the treatment of Eurasian Water Milfoil with ProcellaCor EC and denied documented need for any targeted treatment north of Long Point.
The basis for the lawsuit is that the NYS DEC continues to use outdated documents, such as the Macrophyte Management Strategy(MMS), flawed science, and political pressure to decide the fate of our Lake. We consider this to be “arbitrary, capricious, and irrational” behavior, since there now exists more up to date studies, such as the 2018 Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement(SEIS) supported by the SEQRA process; successful third party reviews of local herbicide usage; and the availability of a much safer herbicide product, ProCellaCor EC, with essentially no water use restrictions.
The Town of Ellery and the Chautauqua Lake Partnership intend to pursue a fair and equitable, structured annual permitting process that will allow for appropriate early season treatment of Curly Leaf Pondweed and timely treatment of Eurasian Water Milfoil. The primary intent of this action is to maximize herbicide permit approval for all municipalities interested in improving lake conditions.