Stefanik supports support for Lake Survey Corp. to EPA

Sue Capone, a longtime Adirondack Lake Survey Corporation employee, takes a water sample at Heart Lake in the High Peaks in mid-October. (Enterprise photo — Justin A. Levine)

RAY BROOK — Republican U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, along with seven other New York representatives, sent a letter Wednesday to the federal Environmental Protection Agency in support of the Adirondack Lake Survey Corporation, which is based in Ray Brook and slated to close at the end of the year.

The Survey Corp. conducts regular monitoring of lake, pond, stream and cloud water quality, and is responsible for what is likely the most comprehensive water quality database in the Adirondacks. It received the bulk of its funding through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the EPA.

“The Survey Corporation has had a great run collecting data that has guided policy and legislation at the state and federal level,” interim President Willie Janeway said during an interview in October. “It became the very foundation of successful reductions in acid rain.

“There has been an effort to reprogram most of the money away from the acid rain work that the survey corporation has done for decades and put that into climate change.

“But as of this point, there is no funding for any of those staff to do any of this work after December 31st.”

U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (Photo provided — Amanda Morrison, Watertown Daily Times)

Stefanik, who represents New York’s 21st Congressional District, took the lead on the letter, sent to EPA head Scott Pruitt on Wednesday. Seven other New York reps signed on, including Chris Collins (R-NY-27), John Faso (R-NY-19), John Katko (R-NY-24), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12), Kathleen Rice (D-NY-4), Louise Slaughter (D-NY-25) and Paul Tonko (D-NY-20).

“We write to you today to voice strong support for the Adirondack Lake Survey Corporation which is receiving $250,000 in funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for long term monitoring of water quality recovery from acid rain,” the letter reads. “Thanks to actions taken after the enactment of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and the invaluable work of the Adirondack Lake Survey Corporation, the Adirondacks have experienced a tremendous return to health.

“Trout populations are returning to once dead lakes, waters and trees are getting healthier, and the park is once again an economic engine in Northern New York.

“Having seen the benefits both ecologically and economically from effective EPA sponsored research, we ask that you work with us to protect ongoing research and monitoring in the Adirondack Park so we never again return to the days of dead lakes and a dying forest.”

To read the full letter, go to https://stefanik.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/stefanik-leads-letter-epa-support-adirondack-lake-survey-corporation.


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