Collins wants IJC to address ‘failed’ lake plan
Press Release, Congressman Chris Collins
WILLIAMSVILLE – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) condemned claims by International Joint Commission (IJC) Chair Lana Pollack that Plan 2014 and the IJC were not responsible for Lake Ontario’s shoreline flooding this past spring.
Collins and other elected officials, including Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich, Governor Andrew Cuomo, and community leaders all along the Lake Shore have been vocal about the lake-level regulation plan that leaves the south shore of Lake Ontario in danger of historic erosion. During a speech at a conference on Great Lakes restoration and in an interview with the Democrat & Chronicle, Pollack said that Lake Ontario flooding was not a result of Plan 2014.
“Ms. Pollack and the IJC have failed the people of Western New York, especially those that have experienced devastating damage to their businesses and property,” said Collins. “Instead of working to fix the problems and make sure destruction like this does not occur again, the IJC is passing the blame and making excuses.”
After first reviewing the plan in 2013, Collins took the lead alongside state and local elected officials to speak out against the negative impact the plan would have on the Lake’s shoreline and the region’s economy. Plan 2014 increases the frequency by which Lake Ontario’s water levels are raised and lowered, significantly increasing the annual costs of shoreline maintenance and negatively impacting Lake Ontario’s rapidly deteriorating shoreline.
Despite concern from local elected officials, the IJC and the State Department, under the Obama Administration, forged ahead with Plan 2014 in December 2016 as Obama’s term was coming to an end. Record high water levels during the spring and summer of 2017 have caused unprecedented damage to property owners, businesses, and municipalities along Lake Ontario.
“Lana Pollack and the rest of the IJC need to be replaced. I have confidence that the Trump Administration will act quickly to appoint commissioners who understand the needs of Lake Ontario residents and will work with their Canadian partners to address these critical issues,” added Collins.
Collins has met with both President Trump and Vice President Pence and urged for the replacement of all IJC commissioners. On Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence joined Collins and Western New York families in Lancaster for a tax roundtable at Performance Advantage Company. In July, Collins joined President Trump on Air Force One for a trip to Long Island. During both meetings, Collins shared his concerns about Lake Ontario’s shoreline flooding, the IJC and Plan 2014.