Katz, in a letter to a top DOT official last year, said that under Public Health Law Section 1100, the village was authorized to create watershed rules and regulations, which state “no herbicides, pesticides, or toxic chemicals shall be discharged, applied, or allowed to enter any reservoir or watercourse.”
Katz also suggested then that the village was empowered to ban the spraying from the south end of the lake to county Route 53 at the lake’s north end.
In response, DOT Regional Director Jack Williams stated: “The department maintains that the use of herbicides, in general, and Accord XRT II in particular along this corridor, is an acceptable risk, based on the application method and best practices.”
The mayor said Monday he was pleased that DOT remained “open and agreeable” to considering options other than using chemical herbicides. He said significant research was done by Win McIntyre, the coordinator for the watershed advisory committee.
Along Otsego County Route 28, which runs along the east side of the lake, the vegetation is controlled by county workers using mowing equipment.
The use of herbicides to control weed growth at Doubleday Field, a village-owned property, has also triggered debate.
Trustee James Dean, the chairman of the village’s environmental committee, said the panel hopes to gradually make Doubleday herbicide-free and has authorized a study examining alternatives to chemical treatments of the grass there.