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NYS Senate Bill S9799 Exempt Freshwater Lakes from wetlands Regulation: Call-to-Action

NYS Senate Bill S9799 has been Proposed by NYS Senator George Borello (57th Senate District) and NYS Assemblyman Andrew Goodell (District 150). This bill proposes to to exempt inland freshwater lakes from wetlands regulation.
This is an ideal solution, but will need to happen very quickly in the first months of 2025 in order to prevent the NYS DEC from applying wetlands regulation to all areas of Chautauqua Lake and presumably ALL other NYS lakes that have near shore areas of >12.4 acres containing submergent vegetation (of any type of density).
To encourage support of this bill, you may use the following form to create a letter to the NYS Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, which is the first step in the legislative process.
Upon successful submission, the letter will be generated with a salutation to the committee and signed “Respectfully <your name> “. It will be sent to all committee members with a copy sent to your email and cc to CLP.
In addition, you can go to the NYS Senate web page for this specific bill to add your virtual “Aye” vote and send a personal message of support to Senator Borello.

    Dear New York State Senate Environmental Conservation Committee,

    Please support Bill S9799 to exempt certain inland lakes from wetlands designations.

    Wetlands are critical to protecting our environment and the quality of water flowing into our lakes, rivers, streams, and aquifers. While lakes have never before been regulated as wetlands, the DEC is now saying that the current definition will require them to regulate the near shore areas of all NYS LAKES as wetlands starting in 2025. The definition states that all contiguous areas > 12.4 acres (>7.4 in 2028) which contain any amount or type of submerged aquatic vegetation (including invasive species) are wetlands and will be regulated as such starting in 2025. This also means that the rights of riparian homeowners within the 100' buffer zone adjacent to the affected lake shores will be impacted by the regulation as well.

    The DEC has enumerated exceptions for home owners and promised to create general permits and procedures to streamline the onerous Article 24 wetlands permitting process to enable seasonal lake management activities such as mechanical harvesting and herbicide use. While this is appreciated, the need for it is clearly evidence of inappropriate application of the regulation. Regulation of New York State lakes as wetlands will create needless barriers for lake management and result in numerous unintended but negative consequences for our beautiful lakes and the people that love them.


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    It is important for you to write a personal message about why this bill is important and your specific concerns regarding how wetland regulation of the lake would negatively impact you or your community.

    Some considerations:

    • Lakes are not swamps, bogs, or marshes, and should not be regulated as such
    • If this intent is not to impact management of lakes, then do not regulate as wetland
    • Property/real estate value depreciation (wetland value vs lake)
    • Increased tax rates on non-lakefront
    • Fewer visitors, tourism and sales tax revenue
    • Less business revenue
    • Very difficult barriers for herbicide permitting and no guarantee treatments could continue to address invasive weeds
    • New barriers and uncertainty for mechanical harvesting
    • The goal of wetland protection is to protect all vegetation  – not what we want for lakes with invasive species problems
    • Added cost, complexity and uncertainty due to regulations and new requirements
    • Impact on enjoyment of a lake without invasive weed management
    • Overall economic impact