Warren County

Controversial herbicide OK’d for Lake George water weeds

Views of Lake George from Prospect Mountain from the outlook view stops in Lake George in 2019.

Views of Lake George from Prospect Mountain from the outlook view stops in Lake George in 2019.

LAKE GEORGE The Lake George Park Commission voted Tuesday to apply a controversial aquatic herbicide to kill invasive Eurasian water milfoil in two bays.

The measure passed 6-2 with one abstention. The commission will pay a contractor $39,300 to apply ProcellaCOR, a next-generation aquatic herbicide, in Glenburnie Bay in the town of Putnam and Sheep Meadow Bay in the town of Dresden. 

The work is expected to be carried out in a single day in June on 7.6 acres of the approximately 28,000-acre lake.

ProcellaCOR mimics the water weed’s own growth hormone and causes it to grow so quickly that the plant essentially disintegrates. 

The plan to use it in the Queen Of American Lakes has drawn heavy criticism from some residents and advocates for the lake, with most opposition centering on its relative newness.

The numerous studies performed on ProcellaCOR and its impacts look at only a few years’ worth of data, which may not be enough to assess its full impact over time, critics say.

They also say that the herbicide will drift out of the bays where it is applied, and note that the lake is used as a human drinking water source.

The Lake George Association and Lake George Waterkeeper had led and organized the opposition to the proposal. In a statement after Tuesday’s vote, they said they remain committed to keeping ProcellaCOR out of the lake and will explore all options for doing so.

The product has received approval by federal regulators and state-level agencies across the nation. In New York state, the Department of Environmental Conservation and Adirondack Park Agency have already signed off on its use in Lake George. Application has been approved in a few other locations across the state, too.

The Lake George Park Commission is interested in testing ProcellaCOR as an alternative to ripping out the weeds by hand, an expensive process that roils sediment into the clear water.

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