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Water Level Plan BV7 Will Damage Boaters, Property Owners And Marina Operators!
It Will Have Severe Impacts On The Lake, The Bays And The Ponds!
E-Newsletter From The
Lake Ontario Riparian Alliance
Issue 5 Feb.. 2012
Grassroots Public Advocacy For The Protection, Restoration And
GOOD NEWS/BAD NEWS edition
We would like to report that our combined effort in working with our elected officials have made the International Joint Commission (IJC) see at least some error in its ways. The proposed meetings planned for the middle of March have been postponed to later in the spring. At this time we do not have any new dates.
We would like to thank the following for their letters of support to the IJC:
Congresswoman Anne Marie
And the many other elected officials who sent letters of support to the IJC but did not forward their letters to LORA.
Now for the Bad News: Our worst fears are coming true! The IJC continues to push Plan BV7, even though it has many defects and will be damaging primarily to Lake Ontario recreational boating and homeowners. The Commission continues to believe that it can make the lake behave like a river system and have higher levels earlier in the year. A river has a spring high level following the annual snow melt, which then declines going into the summer. The Mississippi and Ottawa Rivers experience this type of annual flow. Lake Ontario, because of its size and storage capacity, has never had flows similar to a river even before regulation started. The lake always rose and peaked in June with a gradual fall off to December. The current plan 58DD has moved the summer peak earlier by about a week. Plan BV7 will try to make it much earlier with devastating effects.
As we review the information posted on the LOSLR website, we will try to point out items that we feel are incorrect or have been possibly missed by the IJC working group.
In reviewing one of the supporting documents, Flooding Performance Indicator: Methodology and Shared Vision Model Application, prepared by W.F.Baird and Associates February 2005, we have found a number of illogical and erroneous statements. Many of our concerns are being sent to the IJC directly, but we would like to point out a few of the most egregious mistakes.
The first concern: a major point not addressed in this document is the effect on houses that have basements. Although at this time FEMA and local building ordinances do not allow for basements, many homes on the lake were built before these regulations went into effect or even before the project in the St. Lawrence was built. No survey of the number of homes with basements was ever made during the original LOSLR study.
A second major issue is the effect of wave damage and the assumption made by the IJC subcontractor. According to the Baird group, damages to structures caused by wave impacts can only occur if the lake level is above the land surrounding the building. As riparians who have lived on the lake for many years, we know from personal experience that wave damage can occur and does occur without flooding of the surrounding land. Any time the lake is above 246.6 ft and we have a northeastern storm, the storm surge and wind action can cause waves to overtop protective structure and allow waves to hit houses.
Significantly, the report states: Although there may be impacts to garden sheds, greenhouses, docks, etc. the damages are far less significant, and data regarding the economic value of such structures is non-existent.
These accessory buildings do have significance to the home owner. The local tax assessor puts a value on them for property tax purposes. To neglect to evaluate these structures is a major error.
Another of the many errors found in this one report is the identification of the number of homes in the Flood Hazard Zone on Lake Ontario. The subcontractor arrived at a count of 3143 homes. This report only counts the first two rows of homes along the lakeshore itself. Nowhere in the report is there a count of homes in the flood plain that are located on the bays, ponds and other embayments along the south shore.
We have learned from the recent IJC webinar regarding Plan BV7 that the working group that developed this plan had no other stakeholders from the basin at the “working group” meeting other than environmental entities. Their presentation gave no new information that we have not already learned.
After Nearly 6 Months Of Asking They Have Still Not
· Some of our unanswered questions to the IJC are:
How do they come out with a plan without having operating details, mitigation costs, who will pay for mitigation?
How did BV7 come to be if they had meetings with no stakeholders other than someone’s personal agenda?
How high and how low will the water go with BV7?
What could mid-summer water levels be in a “wet” year or a “dry” year?
How can a plan that has water levels above 248.3 ft 800% more often than the current plan be fair?
Who are these "environmentalists" that are pushing this insane plan? Do they
even live, work, boat, ship,
Is there funding in place to measure the results of plan BV7?
Lake Erie, which has no level regulation and would more closely
represent BV7's levels, been studied
How can the IJC promote plan BV7 when its own damage-assessment data is incorrect, as pointed out, by example, with respect to Wayne County and its unprotected developed properties?
Will the IJC move forward with this damaging plan if no mitigation plan or funding is in place?
What can you do as a homeowner or recreational boater as the IJC continues to plan the destruction of homes and boating on Lake Ontario?
Talk to your neighbors. Let them know about the Lake Ontario Riparian Alliance. Let them know they are already members of this organization just by living or boating here. Print out this newsletter or give them the web address for the newsletter. Have them call their elected representatives, Federal, State and Local, expressing their outrage about this plan. Many of these contacts are listed at the following web address:
Keep Your Eye On The Current Water Levels!!!!!