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Final Report of the Invasive Species Task Force

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Agriculture and Markets DAM are seeking public comment on the Draft Report of the New York State Invasive Species Task Force released today. The Report describes problems associated with invasive plants, animals and pathogens. It discusses existing efforts by government, conservation groups, and industry. It also makes recommendations about how New York can more effectively combat this growing and expensive threat.

Invasive species are non–native species that can cause harm to the environment or to human health. As a threat to our biodiversity, they have been judged second only to habitat loss. Invasives come from all around the world and the rate of invasion is increasing along with the increase in international trade that accompanies globalization. Since the Task Force began its work in 2004, at least six new species have invaded New York.

Invasive species have caused many problems in the past, are causing problems now, and pose threats to our future. Zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil, Chronic Wasting Disease, West Nile Virus, Asian Long–horned Beetle, Swede Midge, Purple Loosestrife, Giant Hogweed, and Black Swallowwort are familiar to many New Yorkers. These and a wide variety of other invasive species harm our ecosystems, our food supply, and our “built environments”, including gardens, landscaping,, industry, and infrastructure. Invasive species can also harm recreation and human health.

The public is encouraged to use the web for this review. The full Report is available on the web at www.dec.state.ny.us. For those without access to the web, copies of the Report can be obtained by calling Steve Sanford at 518-402-8924. All comments must be written. They can be sent electronically to fwhabtat@gw.dec.state.ny.us (“ISTF Report” in subject line) or mailed to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233–4756, Attn: ISTF Report.

Comments will be accepted through September 14, 2005. A final report is due to the Governor and Legislature by November 30, 2005.

The Task Force is also holding 6 public review sessions around New York State.

August 2
7:00 to 9:00 PM
Capital District
The Pride of New York Room
NYS-Dept. of Agriculture and Markets
10 B Airline Drive (north of Christian Brothers Academy)

August 2
7:00 to 9:00 PM
Hudson Valley
Meeting Room 3
NYSDEC Headquarters
South Putt Corners Road
New Paltz

August 2
7:00 to 9:00 PM
North Country
Adirondack Park Agency Headquarters
NYS Route 86
Ray Brook

August 2
7:00 to 9:00 PM
Central New York
Martha Eddy Room
Empire Expo Center (State Fairgrounds)

August 2
7:00 to 9:00 PM
Western New York
Education Center Auditorium
Monroe County Cooperative Extension
249 Highland Avenue

August 2
7:00 to 9:00 PM
NYC – Long Island
Carriage House
Planting Fields Arboretum
Planting Fields Road
Oyster Bay

Availability for Comment on Draft TMDL/Impaired Waters Restoration Plans

This notice announces the availability of DRAFT Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)/Impaired Water Restoration Plans proposed by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for two (2) specific waterbodies: Greenwood Lake in Orange County and Finkle Brook in the Lake George Watershed. Public comment on these documents will be accepted for 30 days, through September 2, 2005.

BACKGROUND: States are required by Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act and EPA's implementing regulations (40CFR Part 130) to develop TMDL plans for waterbodies and pollutants where water quality standards are not being met. By definition, a TMDL specifies the allowable pollutant loading from all contributing sources (e.g., point sources, nonpoint sources, and natural background) at a level necessary to attain the applicable water quality standards with seasonal variations and a margin of safety that takes into account any lack of knowledge concerning the relationship between the sources of the pollutant and water quality. In essence, a TMDL defines the assimilative capacity of the waterbody to absorb a pollutant and still meet water quality standards.

The proposed TMDL/Impaired Water Restoration Plan for Greenwood Lake (for phosphorus) is consistent with a similar TMDL proposed and adopted by New Jersey for this shared waterbody that straddles the New York-New Jersey border. The proposed Plan for Finkle Brook (for sediment) relies on current and ongoing stormwater and other nonpoint source reduction efforts to address existing water quality impairments in Lake George.

INFORMATION: Copies of the proposed draft plans can be obtained by contacting the NYSDEC Bureau of Watershed Assessment and Management by mail at 625 Broadway, 4th Floor, Albany, NY 12233–3502, or by phone at 518–402–8179, or via email at ntcaruso@gw.dec.state.ny.us. The plans are also anticipated to be available on the NYSDEC website at: www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dow/tmdl.html. Comments on these draft plans can be submitted to the Bureau of Watershed Assessment and Management, ATTN: Ron Entringer, at the above address.