By Walt Lender
LG Executive Director
The years-long process to update Lake George protection regulations is about to come to fruition. We encourage you to voice your support for these sensible changes that will protect water quality now and in the future.
The Lake George Park Commission has worked tirelessly with the state and its sister agencies to update a series of water quality protection regulations – updated for the first time in 20 years.
The updated regulations focus on ways to reduce or eliminate polluted stormwater – which is the biggest water quality concern on Lake George. And they build on growing understanding that limiting nutrients now will stave off larger problems later.
The new regulations would:
- Ban fertilizer application within 50 feet of any waterbody, protecting the Lake and streams from nutrient-rich stormwater runoff;
- Require all development projects proposed in the watershed to prevent polluted stormwater from leaving the property from all areas that convey the runoff, to the maximum practical extent;
- Create a standard setback (35 feet) for any devices used to infiltrate the polluted stormwater, which will make it easier for owners of virtually all properties in the watershed to install appropriate infrastructure (and not requiring a separate variance for the devices in addition to all the other permitting required) to capture and infiltrate polluted stormwater on their properties; and
- Streamline the process of logging and agricultural activity to ensure that the Park Commission (or other municipality that has authority over stormwater changes) knows the plans and that the plans comply with best management practices to protect streams, wetlands and the Lake.
Thirty-six percent of the land in the Lake George watershed is residential, vacant, commercial, community service or public service, according to the LGA’s Lake George Watershed Data Atlas. With these new regulations, thousands of pounds of nutrients just from those categories of properties would be prevented from getting into the Lake.
Additionally, all of the other direct, actual water quality protection projects that the LGA does on all of the other categories of properties throughout the watershed (including the latest polluted stormwater protection projects along the Northway near Exit 22) have also prevented tens of thousands of pounds of nutrients and sediment from getting into the Lake over the decades.
With all this in mind, the Lake George Association fully supports these updates in regulations to prevent polluted stormwater from getting into the Lake and degrading the water quality.
We encourage you to do the same: Let the Park Commission and the state know that you support these improvements, and watch the livestream of the public meeting (being held on Tuesday, September 22, at 4 PM at Fort William Henry). See the Park Commission website for livestream details.
Let’s use every tool in the toolbox to protect Lake George!