SUBJECT: Plan 2014 and its impacts: A discussion on implementation.
PURPOSE: To hear from stakeholders on the implementation of the Plan 2014, to discuss the impacts of rising water levels on local businesses and homeowners, the ability of international lake level regulators to pre-emptively manage lake levels, the adequacy and accessibility of state and federal programs designed to assist locals in protecting against rising water levels, and to explore possible state options for improved assistance.
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Wayne Central’s Performing Arts Center
6200 Ontario Center Road, Ontario Center, NY 14519
Senator Tom O’Mara, Chairman of the New York State Senate Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation, Senator Pamela Helming, Chair of New York State Legislative Commission on Rural Resources, and Assemblyman Bob Oaks will be holding a public hearing to examine the implementation of Plan 2014 and its effects on local businesses and homeowners.
Following 14 years of study and discussion by the International Joint Commission (ICJ), Plan 2014 was finalized and adopted in late 2016 despite strenuous objections from local stakeholders. The stated purpose of the plan was to implement a broader range of lake levels to return Lake Ontario to a more natural state, thus improving the health of surrounding wetlands and habitats. The following spring saw flooding of historic proportions, causing significant damage throughout the eastern and southern shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, and calling into question the safety and viability of increased lake levels.
This hearing will be an opportunity for the committee and the public to hear from stakeholders about their experiences with the Plan 2014 and any areas of concern. The committee is interested in exploring the flexibility that Plan 2014 provides lake level regulators to anticipate future surges in water levels, and make necessary adjustments to prevent significant flooding events. Finally, the committee will explore government programs intended to assist locals in protecting homes and property from increased lake levels, the adequacy and accessibility of such programs, and which options are available for improved assistance.
Oral testimony is by invitation only and will be limited to 10 minutes in duration followed by questions from the committee members. Twenty copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. Written testimony is welcome and may be mailed or emailed to the Chairs.
In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Senate, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Senate facilities and activities.
New York State Senate Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation
Senator Tom O’Mara, Chair
New York State Legislative Commission on Rural Resources
Senator Pamela Helming, Chair
New York State Assembly, 130th District
Assemblyman Bob Oaks