LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Governor Cuomo’s office announced Sunday that the Village of Lake George will recieve an additional $9.4 million from the state, for use in replacing the failing wastewater treatment plant which has been a subject of lake protection concerns.
The current plant, built in 1932, poses serious pollution concerns as its septic systems age, according to a news release from the FUND for Lake George. The aging plant creates risks of harmful algal blooms, an invasive plant that has impacted other water bodies in the state. Another concern is the effect on drinking water quality.
“It’s a depression-era plant, never designed for the use ts getting and was not designed to deal with nitrates,” said Eric Siy, executive director of the FUND for Lake George.
Currently, 12 state lakes are being monitored for harmful algal blooms. Lake George is the only one of those 12 that has never had one.
“The FUND applauds Gov. Cuomo for his personal understanding of Lake George as a crown jewel requiring substantial State commitments to protect it from multiple threats, including wastewater and stormwater pollution that contribute to the potential for harmful algal blooms. We thank State Senator Betty Little and Assemblyman Dan Stec for their tireless advocacy on behalf of our lake,” said Siy in a release. “We also thank and congratulate Mayor Bob Blais on what will be among the greatest achievements of his highly accomplished half-century of leadership — a new, state-of-the-art treatment plant that will protect Lake George for the long-term.”
It was a FUND program that first produced scientific evidence of the plant’s state as a risk factor for the lake. The group’s Lake George Waterkeeper arm conducted a 17-month study on water quality in the lake, which was the first to provide definitive findings.
Cuomo’s announcement of new funds, which will be officially proposed to state Legislature on Wednesday, has not been the first financial help the village has received in dealing with the site. The FUND provided the village with a $20,000 grant several years ago to aid in designing a new plant. expediting the timetable for construction.
The timetable on the creation of a new treatment plant is tight. Work started last August, and must be completed by 2021 in accordance with a consent order imposed on Lake George by the state. Siy said providing help designing the new site was a way to help tackle that timeline.
“Rather than wait for public funding, the FUND was compelled to put our money where our mouths are and handle a critical step,” he said.