In a letter sent last week to the House committee on appropriations subcommittee on state, foreign operations, and related programs, U.S. Reps. Chris Collins (NY-27) and John Katko (NY-24) requested language preventing the use of any federal funding to implement the International Joint Commission's Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Plan (Plan 2014) for the 2016 fiscal year.
"Plan 2014 is not in the best interest of homeowners and other stakeholders along the Lake Ontario shoreline," Collins said. "The plan would quicken erosion along Lake Ontario's already rapidly deteriorating shorelines, lower property values for homeowners, and have a negative impact on the region's economy by limiting recreational and commercial boating. I remain committed to working with my colleagues to fight Plan 2014's implementation, and am happy to be joined by Congressman Katko in this effort."
"As a lifelong hunter, sportsman and conservationist, I recognize the value of preserving our natural resources and supporting conservation measures. But the IJC's Plan 2014 could irreversibly damage the Wayne County shoreline, as well as local tourism, recreation and agriculture," Katko said. "Before adopting a plan that puts Lake Ontario south shore communities at risk to suffer millions of dollars of damage, it is critical that a more detailed analysis of the plan's economic impact is provided. Right now, that means taking steps in Congress to ensure that federal dollars are not provided to implement the plan."
Plan 2014 will increase the frequency by which Lake Ontario's water levels are raised and lowered. This has the potential to cause substantial damage to the lake's south shoreline, which houses hundreds of businesses and residences. The plan also would raise the current maximum water levels by 2.4 inches and increase the annual cost of shoreline maintenance and protections by 13 percent. The elected leaders said these water level changes threaten the economic activities of hundreds of communities, residents, businesses and farms.
Full text of the letter can be read here.