New IJC commissioners will meet lakeshore officials in Greece today

Photo by Cheryl Wertman: The sun sets on Sunday evening at Lakeside Beach State Park in Carlton. The high water levels at Lake Ontario have closed some beaches and marinas on the southshore of the lake.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 May 2019 at 8:11 am

The new members of the International Joint Commission, the body of Canadian and American officials who control the Lake Ontario water levels, will meet today with elected officials from shoreline communities.

That “listening session” is invite-only and includes the three new IJC members for the United States: Jane Corwin, Robert Sisson and Lance Yohe. Corwin is the section chairwoman and a former state assemblywoman from Clarence. Her district included portions of Erie and Niagara counties, as well as the town of Shelby in Orleans County.

The three IJC members will also be joined today by Pierre Béland, the Canadian section chairman.

The listening session will be from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Greece Town Hall. The IJC commissioners will then be available to meet the media and will go to the shoreline to see the flooding.

“Despite having just been confirmed, these commissioners are already hard at work learning about the high water levels in our community and the devastation being caused,” Congressman Chris Collins said in a statement. “Western New York finally has a voice with Jane Corwin serving as the U.S. Chair and, I applaud all the commissioners for taking the time to listen to our concerns as elected officials.”

Governor Cuomo has declared a state of emergency for eight counties on the Lake Ontario southshore anticipating damage similar to 2017. Collins faults the Plan 2014, the first change in regulating water levels in a half century, for the flooding in 2017 and now this year.

“Federal, state and local officials, as well both Republicans and Democrats all agree that Plan 2014 is a disaster and needs to be terminated,” Collins said. “This new IJC needs a more rational approach when it comes to managing Lake Ontario water levels.”

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