LGA, Lake George Waterkeeper Urge Adirondack Park Agency to Deny Proposed Use of Herbicide in Lake George

April 11, 2022

The Lake George Association and Lake George Waterkeeper are calling on the Adirondack Park Agency to deny the Lake George Park Commission’s current application to use a chemical herbicide to treat Eurasian watermilfoil in Lake George. The Park Agency is scheduled to deliberate the issue at its meeting on Thursday, April 14.

As documented in our formal comments to the Park Agency, there simply is not enough scientific evidence about the potential adverse impacts to water quality, human health, and aquatic plant and animal life to proceed at this time, particularly given the unique and complex character of the Lake.

In summary, our primary concerns include:

  • possible negative impacts to human health;
  • lack of adequate, peer-reviewed scientific data regarding potentially adverse impacts to native plants and organisms that are specific to Lake George;
  • concern that intense, rapid and concentrated nutrient loading from herbicide-treated and decomposing milfoil will cause significant algal growth and increase the risk of harmful algal blooms;
  • the likely spread of the herbicide miles from the proposed testing sites due to the Lake’s strong currents;
  • concerns about how long the toxic chemical will remain in the Lake, and the fact that it eventually breaks down into chemicals that are just as toxic as the parent;
  • the likelihood that the herbicide’s projected effectiveness will be reduced by the Lake’s strong currents since the manufacturer clearly states its product performs best in “slow moving/quiescent waters with little or no continuous outflow …”

Over the past five years, the Park Commission and its partners have led a very successful hand-harvesting program, which the Commission itself has said will soon make milfoil “a thing of the past,” a clear acknowledgement of the program’s importance and success.

The LGA and Lake George Waterkeeper are urging the Adirondack Park Agency to deny the Park Commission’s current herbicide application as it fails to provide Lake George-specific scientific data on how the herbicide will impact water quality, human health, and other plant and animal life.

Do we really want to risk using a toxic chemical in our Lake when the current practice of removing milfoil plants by hand is safe and effective?