“It’s great news that the state has advanced these long-sought-after changes in stormwater management regulations,” said Walt Lender, Lake George Association Executive Director. “They provide better protection to the Lake’s water quality in a way that will not adversely impact the communities around the watershed.”
“The evidence that polluted stormwater is a problem has been confirmed in study after study,” said Lender. “It is the largest threat to Lake George’s water quality, and these regulations help to ease the threat.”
“As a package, the new stormwater regulations and the draft stream corridor regulations will do a better job preventing polluted stormwater from reaching the Lake than the current, 22-year-old regulations.”
Because polluted stormwater is the largest threat to the Lake’s water quality, a significant part of the LGA’s work to protect the Lake’s water quality focuses on stopping polluted stormwater.
“We’re pleased to see a ban on lawn fertilizer application within 50 feet of a water body,” said Kristen Wilde, Director of Education for the LGA. “Lawn fertilizers add nitrogen and potassium into the soil. If it runs off or is not used by the plants, it can increase the amount of nutrients in the Lake which can then feed plants and algae. If homeowners have trouble with their lawn within the 50 feet of shore, they can consider lawn alternatives such as planting a buffer of native plants – you can get details how on our website (www.LakeGeorgeAssociation.org/protect/lake-friendly-living/).”
“We’re also happy to see the proposed changes in stormwater management for construction projects,” said Randy Rath, the LGA’s Project Manager. “While the current regulations required larger projects to mitigate the polluted stormwater to keep it out of the Lake, these new regulations will require almost all future additions, renovations and retrofits to better protect the Lake from polluted stormwater. I think that this water quality protection is something everyone could and should get behind.”
The new regulations also transfer the oversight of logging and agricultural activities from the state or county directly to the authority that manages the current stormwater regulations. It will streamline the reporting, and ensure that the authority knows about the projects, and that the proposed logging/agricultural activity will be protective of water quality and the watershed.
“The proposed stream buffer regulation, broken out into a separate package, is important as well to protect the health of streams and the health of the Lake,” Lender said. “The proposed regulation will help prevent erosion, prevent polluted stormwater, and keep the temperature of the streams regulated. More than half of the Lake’s water comes from the streams surrounding it, and the proposed regulations are very similar to what the Town of Queensbury and Town of Bolton enforce. Combined, Queensbury and Bolton have 60% of the watershed population, according to our Watershed Data Atlas, and almost 60% of the current housing units. We believe the protection of the streams should be the same all throughout the watershed.”