Sunday, April 13, 2008

Plans To Eradicate Milfoil With Renovate In Lakes Being Considered



**The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is considering using Renovate, a chemical designed for European milfoil, to kill the invasive seaweed. Although the DEC says that it should control the milfoil, but not completely eradicate it.
**Bath, NY - Between two of the Finger Lakes, Keuka and Seneca, lies two smaller lakes, Lamoka and Waneta, where many people, live, vacation, boat, fish and swim. But with the lake's usage, came unwanted invasive species of plants, namely European milfoil.
**European milfoil has clogged these lakes every year, becoming a danger to both boaters and swimmers. The Lamoka-Waneta Lakes Association vice-president, Dennis Fagan, told Steuben County officials Monday that plans were again being considered to eradicate the non-native weed this year. The Department of Environmental Conservation is considering the use of a chemical called "Renovate" (pdf) to kill the weed.
**In 2003, the herbicide SONAR (pdf) was used, and it took 59 days to kill the weed, but there was a problem. SONAR did not dissipate. Instead,

“It stayed in the lake and eradicated all the weeds, even the native plants,”
Fagan said. “The (state Department of Environmental Conservation) guys were very
upset.”

**The following year, Lamoka was slated to get the same treatment, but it never happened. Since 2003, however, all but two of the 17 native plants have reappeared in Waneta Lake, along with the milfoil. Already this year, the milfoil is growing rapidly at certain points in the lakes.
It's believed that Renovate should take less time to rid the lakes of most of the milfoil in about 3 days. However, there are a few issues that will be dealt with.
**The first is that there's the fact that with the lakes being treated, the

"water will exceed the EPA’s guidelines for drinking water for a short period of
time. The level only affects six cottages and the association has offered to buy
bottled water for any residents while the lakes are monitored," Fagan said.

**Secondly, DEC official John Cole says that there are also 5,000-feet setbacks required from any area that could be a source for drinking water. But it should not stop people from swimming in the two lakes.

“They should all be good to go within a week.”

**So far there has only been one complaint about this during a public comment period. That period will end April 21. The association is hosting a DEC open house from 6-9 p.m. Wednesday at the Tyrone Town Hall, where people can browse through available information and ask questions about the plan.
**Fagan told the committee there have been few objections to the treatment, but predicted there will be complaints
“from the tree-hugger types.”
**The total cost of this treatment will be $600,000 for the next two years, and will be paid for through special water district taxes, state funds and reserve funds set up by Steuben and Schuyler counties. A small portion of Lamoka Lake lies in Steuben County, which contributes $16,000 annually in the reserve.

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