The headline read “Rep. Stefanik supports IJC study of Plan 2014 in response to St. Lawrence River water level issues” (North Country Now, July 19), and U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik will advocate for Congress to fund the study. How much time and money were spent to come up with the Plan 2014?
Is the International Joint Commission admitting that Plan 2014 is flawed? Why else would it need to have additional studies?
Our government wastes money every day, and paying for additional studies of Plan 2014 would be a total waste of money. If the IJC is going to move forward with more studies, then so be it. But while the studies are taking place suspend the Plan 2014 and go back to the 1958 plan. Here we are in the third week of July, and the water levels along the St. Lawrence River are still way above what they should be.
The congresswoman stated that she has consistently been meeting with constituents impacted by the flooding. Well from what I know, she has met with local government officials but not with the residents who are impacted by the high-water levels. She attended a meeting back in May in Clayton, and the only non-government officials allowed to attend were the Save the River organization.
This has been a similar trend whenever the IJC has held local meetings on the flooding. Residents are locked out and have no voice in this matter. The Save the River organization is a big supporter of the Plan 2014. So the fact that it got a seat at the table tells me that neither the congresswoman nor the IJC wants to hear opposing opinions.
What will next spring be like if they can’t get the water levels substantially lower this fall? That would be catastrophic. The letter that Save the River sent to the IJC last week requesting that it periodically suspend shipping on the river to be able to increase outflows tells me that it, too, is getting concerned about not getting levels to an acceptable level.
The bottom line is that our congresswoman loves to secure money for whatever projects, so secure the money for the IJC to do additional studies. But in the meantime, suspend Plan 2014. I do not need a study to see how bad Plan 2014 has been for those of us who live along the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario.