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NYS expands lawsuit over Lake Ontario flooding

shorebirds gathered at lake ontario
Veronica Volk
Great Lakes Today/WXXI News
Ontario Beach is flooded and partially eroded in this 2017 photo.

Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYS Attorney General Letitia James have announced an expanded lawsuit against the International Joint Commission, for “failing to implement its flood protocol for the Moses-Saunders Power Dam.”  That’s the dam that can be used to help regulate the level of water in Lake Ontario.

The IJC is the joint U.S.-Canadian agency that helps address issues concerning bodies of water that involves both countries.

The two top state officials say that the IJC failed to act in response to flooding in 2017 and 2019, causing New York to incur substantial and potentially avoidable damages.

This lawsuit expands on the suit filed by the NYS DEC last month by also including damages incurred by all state agencies, including DEC, which  the officials say collectively numbers over $50 million.

The Office of the Attorney General and Governor Cuomo's Office seek compensatory damages in excess of $50 million dollars for damages that include:

--Damages to state property.

--Damages consisting of funds the state spent and will spend to repair harm to property, municipalities, and residents.

--Damages to natural resources, including the value of lost recreational activities.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.