Washington, DC Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) led a bipartisan group of her New York colleagues in a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt. The lawmakers voiced their strong support for the Adirondack Lake Survey Corporation and asked the EPA work with them to protect ongoing research and monitoring in the Adirondack Park.

“The Adirondack Park is an ecological treasure and it’s critical that we work to protect it for future generations to enjoy,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “I thank my colleagues for supporting this effort and will continue to work across the aisle to protect our North Country treasures.”

“We applaud Congresswoman Stefanik and all of her colleagues for their efforts to secure federal funding for monitoring whether clean air regulations are working, and for restoring Adirondack lakes damaged by acid rain,” said Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway.  “Acid rain has devastated the waters, forests, fisheries and the economy of the Adirondacks.  It has harmed lakes and forests from here to Maine.  All of those areas are showing signs of recovery, but the job of curbing upwind, out-of-state air pollution is far from done. Air pollution also threatens public health. Continued EPA funding for the Adirondack Lake Survey Corporation Long Term Monitoring is critical.”

Lawmakers signed on to this letter include Reps. Chris Collins (R-NY-27), John Faso (R-NY-19), John Katko (R-NY-24), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12), Kathleen Rice (D-NY-4), Louise Slaughter (D-NY-25), and Paul Tonko (D-NY-20).

The text of the letter can be found below; click here for a digital copy.

The Honorable Scott Pruitt
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of the Administrator 1101A
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20460

Administrator Pruitt,

We write to you today to voice strong support for the Adirondack Lake Survey Corporation which is receiving $250,000 in funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for long term monitoring of water quality recovery from acid rain.

The Adirondack Park is an ecological gem and contributes greatly to the culture and economy of New York State. The Park which is situated in Northern New York is located directly downwind from major Midwest coal-burning sources. Power generating facilities in the Midwest emit sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which are the major precursors of acid rain which has caused the acidification of many Adirondack lakes and ponds. Certain geologic and soil characteristics including elevated terrain, thin shallow soils, and impermeable bedrock combined with high amounts of rainfall make the Park one of the most sensitive areas to acidification in North America.

Consequently, this region is a focal point for numerous scientific research efforts designed to identify the processes involved in acidification and to evaluate its effect on aquatic resources as well as the effectiveness of emissions controls. Thanks to actions taken after the enactment of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and the invaluable work of the Adirondack Lake Survey Corporation, the Adirondacks have experienced a tremendous return to health. Trout populations are returning to once dead lakes, waters and trees are getting healthier, and the park is once again an economic engine in Northern New York.

While we are all pleased to see the Park come back from the brink, work is ongoing and we risk a return to more polluted days should we turn away from this important monitoring. In particular, facilities such as the lab in Ray Brook which collect information for the Adirondack Lake Survey Corporation could close if EPA shifts the focus of the programs and grants that have provided an essential funding stream.

Having seen the benefits both ecologically and economically from effective EPA sponsored research, we ask that you work with us to protect ongoing research and monitoring in the Adirondack Park so we never again return to the days of dead lakes and a dying forest.

We appreciate your attention to this matter.