LGA/Waterkeeper Statement on Park Commission's Approval of Herbicide Use

April 26, 2022

This is a sad day for Lake George. The Lake George Park Commission has abdicated its responsibility to protect the Queen of American Lakes by voting, by a margin of 6-2, to use a chemical herbicide, ProcellaCOR, in the Lake this spring despite a striking lack of independent scientific data about potential adverse impacts to Lake George water quality, human health, and aquatic plant and animal life.

The Commission’s decision not only ignores the absence of sound science but disregards the voices of the more than 1,300 concerned citizens who spoke out in opposition to the plan. We commend Commissioners Bill Mason and Dean Cook for stepping up for Lake George and voting no on this plan, urging a more thorough scientific review of the potential impacts.

The Lake George Association, Lake George Waterkeeper and our partners in The Jefferson Project have repeatedly offered to put our advanced scientific and technical research capabilities to work in partnership with the Commission to address the many unanswered scientific questions about potential impacts before the herbicide is used in the Lake, but were refused. Such study would have addressed:

  • 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 would 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 chemical will remain in the Lake, and the fact that it eventually breaks down into chemicals that are 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 …”

We are disappointed that the Park Commission would choose the allure of a possible quick-fix solution to milfoil management rather than taking the time to properly study the potential long-term harm to the Lake, human health and our region’s Lake-based economy.

The LGA and Waterkeeper are committed to keeping this herbicide out of Lake George until all of the scientific questions have been answered. We look forward to working closely with the many concerned citizens and groups who stood up in opposition to the herbicide plan as we consider any and all options available to put this premature plan on pause for the protection of Lake George.