IJC Holds Lake Flooding Hearings
The International Joint Commission (IJC) has been charged with defining a scope of work for a study or studies needed to address lake flooding. The charge follows record lake flooding in the spring of 2011. The IJC recently held public hearings in Saint-Paul-de-I’lle-aux-Noix, Quebec and North Hero, Vermont. At the North Hero meeting LCC made it clear that we would not support efforts to regulate Lake Champlain. Any proposed structural means of dealing with lake flooding should begin and end with an examination of the Chambly Canal which was widened in the 1970s causing Lake Champlain to drain more slowly during high water periods.
Additionally, we urged the IJC to focus on recommending appropriate lakeshore development regulations and to support the Lake Champlain Basin’s existing stream gaging network. The stream gaging network is vitally important for predicting flooding throughout the Basin and giving residents an opportunity to prepare for floods. Funding to continue the gaging has been tenuous in recent years.