Rep. Collins, Rep. Katko, and County Legislators Meet with State Department to Express Concerns Over IJC Plan 2014
Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27), Congressman John Katko (NY-24), and county legislators, Dave Godfrey and Lynne Johnson, today released the following statements after meeting with State Department officials about the International Joint Commission’s (IJC) plans to implement new guidelines regulating the water levels of Lake Ontario.
“The IJC’s Plan 2014 hurts homeowners and businesses along Lake Ontario’s shoreline,” said Congressman Collins. “I am vehemently opposed to this plan which would quicken erosion along shrinking shorelines, lower property values for specific 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 in federal, state, and local government against the plan’s implementation and am glad Congressman Katko and county legislators Dave Godfrey and Lynne Johnson could join me in this fight.”
“Today’s meeting was yet another opportunity to discuss the potentially devastating impact that Plan 2014 could have on Wayne County’s shoreline, economy, and vast agriculture community,” said Congressman Katko, who hosted a similar meeting earlier this year with Wayne County lawmakers and representatives from the U.S. Department of State and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “I’m appreciative of Representative Collins’ efforts in facilitating this meeting. I recognize the value of preserving our natural resources and supporting conservation measures, but Plan 2014 could cause a great loss of shoreline, erosion damage to property, and flooding in Wayne County. It is critical that we make these points known to stakeholders on a federal level, and that we continue to have an open dialogue moving forward.”
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.