To the editor,
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) presented Croton residents with their new plan for treating Hydrilla in the Croton River next year.
Hydrilla is an invasive aquatic plant which is present in the Croton Reservoir and in the Croton River. It grows from bottom to top creating an impenetrable “mat” on the surface and also releases toxins affecting other plant life. It could affect the health of the Croton River as well as our ability to enjoy the river.
In 2016, the NYSDEC treatment plan was approved by the Village but not implemented due to the New York City DEP changing the release rate of water from the reservoir. It called for the use of Endothall to be injected downstream from the Black Rock dam, below the Village well fields. The treatment was to have been over a short period of time.
The proposed plan for 2017 differs in several ways. The chemical to be injected is a systemic herbicide called Fluridone. Although it would be injected at a concentration well below allowable state and federal permitted levels, it would occur over a longer period, from July to October. It would also be injected into the Croton River just downstream from the Croton Dam. This means the Fluridone would be above the Village’s well fields. At present there is no plan for Fluridone to be put into the reservoir to inhibit the hydrilla found there.
Obviously, there are serious concerns about the new program and it will have to undergo a new, and extensive, review by both the Village’s Water Control Commission and the Waterfront Advisory Board. I believe that the Village should engage professional help in its evaluation and that it should be funded by the NYSDEC. It will also be reviewed by the Town as the new injection site is in the town.