HAGUE-The Lake George Association is moving forward with a long-term effort to remove several deltas on the lake. The LGA is examining alternative methods for dredging deltas located at the mouths of three major brooks on the west side of the lake - Finkle, Hague and Indian. The LGA has spent years examining these watersheds and working on upland projects on these brooks.
"With any project of this magnitude a number of partners and steps are required," said Walt Lender, executive director of the Lake George Association. "This week we completed the public comment period for the development of the scope of a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. Essentially, this is the first round of opportunity for public input on the general scope of the proposal. Next we will complete a draft detailing exactly how and what we propose to do, and the public will have a longer period to comment on that - usually a minimum of 30 days."
The Department of Environmental Conservation, in accordance with the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) requires impact statements to be prepared and presented to the public for comment before a project like this can be implemented. The original environmental impact statement, covering all deltas on the lake, was approved back in 2004 by the Lake George Park Commission. In this statement only two methods of removing the sediment in the deltas were discussed - conventional mechanical removal from a barge and hydraulic removal. Preparation of a supplemental impact statement to this original statement became necessary because now the LGA would like to examine alternative methods for dredging. The supplemental statement will also address the environmental impact of these methods.
"We want to arrive at a definitive solution for removal of these deltas, one that we all can live with and one that is vetted through an open public process," said Randy Rath, LGA's project manager. "The deltas are certainly a result of damage caused by human interaction with the watershed, and it is up to us to reverse this damage. We just need to agree on what the best, most environmentally appropriate method will be."