May 19, 2009 Doug Campbell Uncategorized
Town of Cazenovia officials met with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation May 14 to address DEC concerns with the potential impacts of treating Cazenovia Lake with herbicide.
According to Supervisor Liz Moran, the DEC was most concerned with lakeshore households drawing water directly from the lake and the possible for harm to the endangered amber ovate snail in Chittenango Falls.
It is recommended that water treated with the herbicide triclopyr not be used for drinking for several weeks after treatment. After the treatment, which is planned for the end of May, the town, village and lake association will provide potable water to residents at a water station at Lakeland Park or at the town office by appointment. Lakeshore residents may also be reimbursed for water purchases, Moran said.
“Also, we have arranged with Cazenovia College that people can shower there if they are concerned,” Moran said. “There is no restriction on use of the water for showering — this is just an extra measure offered.”
The town is taking several steps to ensure that the herbicide treatment will be of no danger to the endangered amber ovate snail, a snail that lives underneath Chittenango Falls — the south end of Cazenovia Lake is an outlet into Chittenango Creek, which is an inlet to the falls.
While it was originally planned to treat the south end of the lake initially, the town has agreed to move the treatment area to the north of the lake for the first year.
The town will also have a toxicity test done on a similar aquatic snail — one that is not a protected or endangered species. A retired DEC scientist who now teaches at SUNY Brockport will perform the tests, exposing the snails to a range of concentrations of triclopyr for 96 hours and measuring their response.
In accordance with previous tests, the town expects that there will be no impact on the snail, Moran said. Triclopyr interferes with plant metabolism and is classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as “practically non-toxic” to animals. The snail’s endangered status requires “a hard look,” Moran said.
Officials met with their most senior staff from Syracuse and Cortland — Albany experts participated by phone. With the main concerns of the DEC addressed, Moran is confident that the permit to treat the lake will be approved.
“We are optimistic that we will have a permit to treat approximately 234 acres of the lake — more than half of the 400 acres that are heavily infested with milfoil — by the end of May,” Moran said. The treatment area will begin at the north and along the eastern and western shorelines of the lake. The rest of the lake, including the southern basin, should be treated in the spring of 2010.
“Many people in our community have worked to get us to this point,” Moran said. “Our attorney for the town, John Langey, has been a huge asset. Getting through the SEQR process this rapidly is almost unheard of, and John kept us on track. A core group, Rich Husted, Jerry Mayright and Larry Tully, championed the Renovate idea from the beginning and brought the town, village and lake association along.”