Congressman Chris Collins and Local Legislators Hold Press Conference
Congressman Chris Collins and local legislators released the following statements today after a press conference concerning the International Joint Commission’s (IJC) plans to implement new guidelines regulating the water levels of Lake Ontario.
“As we saw today, I along with many other lawmakers are concerned and opposed to the plan announced by the IJC, which would quicken erosion along already rapidly eroding Lake Ontario shorelines, lower property values for specific homeowners and have a negative impact on the region’s economy by limiting recreational and commercial boating,” said Congressman Chris Collins. “This plan is not in the best interest of homeowners and other stakeholders along the Lake Ontario shoreline, and I remain committed to working with my colleagues in state and local government against its implementation.”
Plan 2014’s intent is to re-establish Lake Ontario’s natural water level fluctuations to restore the region’s natural wetlands and environmental diversity. The proposal has met significant resistance due to the disproportionate damages that will fall onto Lake Ontario’s southern shore communities.
Speaking to IJC’s own predictions, Niagara County Legislator David Godfrey added, “This plan is going to be economically devastating for our entire area. There appears to be no interest from the IJC to assist with what will be the equivalent of a manmade disaster to our communities.”
“The approval by the IJC of Plan 2014 is government at its worst. The IJC did not listen to the voice of people,” said Orleans County Legislator Lynne Johnson.
Godfrey and Johnson co-chair NORA, the Niagara-Orleans Regional Alliance.
“Plan 2014 would cause Lake Ontario to experience higher highs and lower lows, significantly hurting the boating industry and homeowners,” said David Callard, Chairman of the Orleans County Legislature. “The plan’s minimal additional environmental benefits are not worth the severe damages that Lake Ontario shoreline communities will experience.”
State Senator George Maziarz (R-C, Newfane) said, “Plan 2014 could have severe long-term ramifications for homes and communities on the south shore of Lake Ontario. I join Congressman Collins in urging our federal government to recognize how harmful it would be to American interests, particularly in the areas of real property and economic activity, and tell the IJC to go back to the drawing board.”
“Plain and simple, the plan set forth by the International Joint Commission is dangerous to our community,” said State Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, C, I-Batavia). “If the federal government goes through with this plan it will place hundreds of residents’ property and homes in unnecessary danger. While the environmental impact of the past decades can't be ignored, there are better alternatives for us to explore.”