The mailbox at the International Joint Commission might get a bit stuffed in coming weeks.
Rep. Anthony Brindisi, D-Utica, who represents the eastern half of Oswego County, has launched what he is calling Flood the IJC Campaign. He said he will be sending a letter a week to the International Joint Commission the governing body for Lake Ontario water levels, and is encouraging Lake Ontario property owners to share their stories with him and the IJC.
Following the failure of the IJC to present a clear and cohesive solution to the continued flooding in Oswego County, Brindisi joined local community leaders to demand action. Brindisi plans to send a letter a week to the IJC highlighting current water levels compared to the same time in 2017, a year with widespread flooding.
“I’ve met with flood victims, toured the impacted businesses, and spoken with community leaders and we all agree: enough is enough,” Brindisi said. “The IJC needs to be held accountable and if they aren’t being responsive to the communities’ needs then the IJC needs to hear these concerns each and every week. As their Congressman, I will not stop until the IJC listens and responds to the concerns of this community.”
Brindisi addressed his letter to Canadian Section Chair Pierre Béland and American Section Chair Jane Corwin. Both Beland and Corwin were in Oswego in June 28 when area officials met with IJC officials, Brindisi and Rep. John Katko, R-Camillus, who represents the western part of Oswego County.
At that roundtable meeting, the IJC said it would reevaluate Plan 2014.
“I am deeply concerned that the current course of action by the IJC will again result in flooding along the North and South shores of Lake Ontario in 2020,” Brindisi wrote in his letter. “In January 2019, Lake Ontario water levels stood at 245.34 feet, and as you know we experienced the second year of devastating flooding. We cannot see another year where residences, businesses, and infrastructure across the Upstate New York and Canadian shorelines are under water, hurting our economy and our communities.”
In August, Brindisi and Katko secured a Government Accountability Office study of the IJC’s Plan 2014. Brindisi continues to hold the IJC accountable and call for a fix to Plan 2014.
Residents interested in joining the -FloodtheIJC campaign can fill out Brindisi’s survey at this link — https://brindisi.house.gov/share-your-story-lake-ontario-flooding-and-ijc-inaction