To the editor,
The Village is facing a big decision this Winter – the review of the NYSDEC’s proposed treatment of the Croton River to control the invasive species, Hydrilla. Hydrilla is a critical problem for the health of the Croton River. Hydrilla also exists in the Croton Reservoir which is under the control of the New York City Dept. of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP).
The NYSDEC has proposed a treatment program which injects the herbicide, Fluridone, into the river to control and stifle its growth. Fluridone would be injected into the Croton River upstream of the Village’s well fields.
For the proposed program to go forward, the Village’s Water Control Commission (WCC) must issue a permit and the Village’s Waterfront Advisory Committee must determine that the action is consistent with our Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP).
To that end, the WCC and WAC members met with representatives of the NYSDEC last week for more in depth information. At its conclusion, both committees determined that they need expert advice and help in evaluating the NYSDEC proposal. They have communicated that to the Board of Trustees, requesting the Village hire such expert help.
The Village has a law that requires the costs of an independent environmental review for proposed projects be paid for by the project’s proponent, in this case the NYSDEC. It is unclear whether the NYSDEC will pay for an independent consultant to advise the Village, in which case, the Village would have to absorb the cost of it itself if it determines it is needed. This is a decision that will be made by the Board of Trustees even as the WCC and WAC will conduct the actual review.
Hydrilla treatment is a complex and important concern to the Village given the location of the Village’s well fields and water supply. I believe it is essential that such a review occur before decisions are made about a permit for the treatment program.