One of the largest threats to Lake George’s pristine water quality is pollution from stormwater runoff. When it rains, runoff flowing across the ground picks up sand, silt, metals, phosphorus, nitrogen and other nutrients that can degrade water quality and clarity when it reaches Lake George. Generally, the more developed an area is, the more stormwater runoff is generated if it is not managed properly. To help address this, the Commission has had stormwater management regulations in place since 1990 to help offset impacts from land development in the Lake George Park. While these regulations have been seen as successful in helping to address these issues, stormwater runoff from developed properties continues to be a threat to the lake’s water quality. The Commission has been working with our local municipalities and partners around the Lake George Park to discuss these issues and ultimately update the stormwater regulations in a reasonable way, with the intention of hindering the slow decline in the lake’s water quality.
In the summer of 2018, the Commission held several public information meetings to get feedback on the proposed regulations. Since that time, the Commission has worked to advance these ideas into draft regulations for final consideration by the public. These draft regulations are now posted on the Commission website for public review.
In summary, the proposed changes mirror what was discussed in 2018. These changes include:
1. Timber harvesting notification requirements and conservation/erosion control plans
2. Fertilizer application prohibitions within 50 feet of all waterbodies and wetlands in the Lake George Park
3. Existing property stormwater retrofit requirements for all new development projects that require LGPC stormwater permits
Through the review process in Albany, the Commission was required to separate out its stream corridor/buffer protection standards into a separate regulatory package. This was necessary to meet the intent of NYS ECL Article 43 (the Lake George Law). The Commission’s draft stream corridor protection regulations have been submitted to Albany, and we hope for expedited review so we can run parallel public input tracks on both our stormwater and stream corridor initiatives during the late summer of 2020.
In summary, the Commission’s proposed stream corridor protections also mirror our previously discussed standards as follows:
1. 35 foot stream buffer protection/clearing standards, applying to DEC regulated streams
2. Standards for stream crossings/culverts that mirror existing updated DEC permit conditions
Since these draft stream corridor regulations have not yet been approved for release by Albany, we will not be able to share the specific regulatory language at the meeting on July 28th. However, we will discuss exactly what these draft stream corridor regulations and requirements will entail, and how they are proposed to work.
Thank you for your interest in the protection of Lake George.