New York State’s Supreme Court declared that it was “arbitrary and capricious,” and scolded the state Adirondack Park Agency (APA) staff for a “one-sided” presentation to commissioners about herbicide used for managing invasive milfoil. The court also faulted the APA for not holding a public hearing before an administrative law judge prior to issuing a permit to the Lake George Park Commission.
APA commissioners, in a split vote, granted the Lake George Park Commission a permit to use a herbicide chemical known as ProcellaCOR to battle Eurasian Watermilfoil in April of 2022. The Lake George Association (LGA) filed a lawsuit against the APA, the park commission and the state Department of Environmental Conservation after the permits were granted.
This month, Warren County Justice Robert Muller sided with the LGA, ruling that the APA’s staff presentation of the issues was biased in favor of the applicants use of herbicides. Furthermore, the court believed the APA board was denied a comprehensive understanding of the permit application making it difficult — if not impossible — for the decision-making board to render an accurate determination.
The Upper Saranac Foundation (USF) has not taken a position on the use of the chemical herbicide ProcellaCOR but did provide an affidavit to the court regarding the misrepresentation of USF’s data by APA staff relative to hand harvesting milfoil on Upper Saranac Lake. While the APA staff did acknowledge USF’s success in invasive species management, the presentation to the APA commissioners incorrectly created an impression that hand harvesting of Eurasian watermilfoil is not a viable cost-effective option, thus favoring the use of herbicides.
Should the Lake George Park Commission proceed with reapplying for the use of ProcellaCOR, a public hearing will undoubtedly look at USF’s effective management strategies as an alternative to chemicals.