Congressman Collins Addresses the Canadian Chair of the International Joint Commission Regarding His Comments About Plan 2014
Washington D.C. – Congressman Chris Collins sent a letter to the Canadian Chair of the International Joint Commission (IJC), Dr. Pierre Béland, addressing the comments the Chair made in support of the flawed Plan 2014 at a stakeholders meeting of elected and public officials two weeks ago at Greece Town hall. Béland claimed the IJC would never approve a plan that would knowingly cause flooding or damage to a specific community, while doubling down on his support for Plan 2014. In his correspondence, Congressman Collins urged Béland to join with other commissioners to reinstate the previous plan, 1958DD.
Collins pointed out that the IJC’s own data showed Plan 2014 would disproportionately harm those on Lake Ontario’s south shore before it was approved by the Obama Administration in December of 2016.
“Since day one we knew our shorelines would face devastation if this plan took effect, which is why I actively spoke out against Plan 2014 before it was signed into law,” said Congressman Collins. “Since its implementation, the Lake Ontario shoreline community has experienced severe flooding which has led to a negative impact on the local economy and a decrease in property values.”
The Collins letter goes on to point out that shoreline property owners have spent thousands of their hard-earned dollars repairing break walls that have already been destroyed by new flooding. Dr. Béland saw this devastation first hand when the IJC Commissioners took a tour of the erosion and flooding of developed properties along the shoreline.
Referencing a December, 2016 review by Bill Werick, Collins wrote that the Lead U.S. Planner of the Lake Ontario/St. Lawrence River Study warned that Plan 2014 would impact the shore protection structures the most. Additionally, in his review, Werick included a table of the geographic distributions of disproportionate impacts Plan 2014 would have on south shore property owners and businesses.
“After the Greece IJC listening session, I approached Dr. Béland to show him a report that was published by the International Joint Commission in June of 2014. This report said, ‘More often than not, Plan 2014 would dramatically increase damages compared to Plan 1958DD, which had been in place for years,'’’ added Collins. "Plan 2014 is a man-made disaster and the Lake Ontario shoreline communities are suffering because of it."
A copy of the letter can be found here.