WATERTOWN, NY — Assemblyman Mark C. Walczyk, (R-Watertown) released the following statement on Oct. 10, 2019:
“The recent news that NYS will be filing a lawsuit against the International Joint Commission is a win for property owners and businesses that lie across the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Holding the International Joint Commission accountable to the thousands that have had to watch as their property wash away and their businesses struggle to make ends meet is critical to the viability to the north country.
After recent conversations with representatives from the International St. Lawrence River Board, it’s my understanding this six-member body has submitted a recommendation to the International Joint Commission that calls for a deviation from Plan 2014, which would increase outflows through December.
This would be welcome news to those along our region’s waterways that have still yet to begin the recovery process. Interests like the shipping industry shouldn’t dictate how high water levels remain.
Those who live and work along the water shouldn’t have to live in fear of wondering if mismanaged water levels will literally wash their homes away and force businesses to close.
While I’m not convinced that another high water event won’t occur next year, this would certainly prove to be a step in the right direction in helping the recovery process and mitigate future damage from occurring. The Board should be commended for recognizing the concerns that have been voiced by countless individuals that have been impacted by record water levels over the past three years. The time for action is now.
That’s why I strongly urge the International Joint Commission to immediately accept the recommendation from the International St. Lawrence River Board and maximize outflows. This is the right thing to do.”