Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

Our Opinion

August 9, 2012

Spraying should stop

We were dismayed to learn the New York State Department of Transportation considers the use of a glysophate-based herbicide on unwanted plants on the Route 80 right-of-way along the western shore of Otsego Lake to be an “acceptable risk.”  We believe it poses an unacceptable risk.

  Mayor Jeff Katz has written twice to the state agency to express the village’s concerns about the use of the herbicide in such close proximity to the lake, which is the source of Cooperstown’s drinking water. In the most recent letter, Katz explained how the use of weed killers violated the watershed rules and regulations. He explained that under Public Health Law Section 1100, the village was authorized to create the watershed rules and regulations, which state “no herbicides, pesticides, or toxic chemicals shall be discharged, applied, or allowed to enter any reservoir or watercourse.”

“This is clear authority to prohibit the use of herbicides close to the lake, as along the DOT right-of-way on State Highway 80,” Katz’s letter stated.

But that did little to convince DOT Regional Director Jack Williams.

“We recognize the concerns expressed by the Otsego Lake Watershed Supervisory Committee in your letter. 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,” Williams responded.

  We can understand the DOT’s point of view. No doubt it is cheaper and faster to spray the plants than it would be to send out a crew to mow them down.

  Williams also said there is noxious wild parsnip growing in the area that poses a threat to DOT workers, but certainly there is protective clothing that could be employed. There are tractors with mowers mounted on hydraulic arms that can reach out and over guardrails to mow weeds and brush.

  Following a meeting last week with village attorney Martin Tillapaugh, local officials decided to continue to pursue a ban on the DOT’s spraying.

We support that decision because the health of the lake is far too important. No matter what the cost savings the DOT realizes from using chemical weed control, it is not worth risking the lake and its ecosystem or the village’s drinking water source.


Text Only
Our Opinion
  • Roses to ... A week later, however, the feeling we are left with is pride.

    May 29, 2014

  • Paid parking here to stay State Supreme Court Judge Kevin Dowd laid down the political challenge to opponents of Cooperstown's on-street paid-parking program, but it turns out that Dowd's challenge has gone unanswered.

    January 30, 2014

  • A Great Class for 2014 We're excited by last week's announcement of the results of the Baseball Writers' Association of America's 2014 Hall of Fame ballot.

    January 16, 2014

  • Still in favor of CCS project We’re disappointed with the results of the Cooperstown Central School vote on the capital construction project and we hope this isn’t the end of the project.

    December 19, 2013

  • Yes to CCS construction project Bottom line: who among us wants to say no to a new bathroom for the autism class?

    December 5, 2013

  • House GOP to blame for shutdown There's no reason to delay giving this opinion with needless words: Congressional Republicans are at fault for the government shutdown.

    October 3, 2013

  • Take signs of concussions seriously As the fall sports season heats up, we want to remind coaches, parents and athletes to take signs of concussions seriously.

    September 26, 2013

  • Giant pumpkins are worth seeing PumpkinFest has become such a wonderful tradition in Cooperstown. The two-day event is certainly unique to anyone who has not seen thousand pound pumpkins before.

    September 19, 2013

  • Don't forget to sign up for STAR A critical deadline is approaching for New York state property owners. Very soon, more than 2.6 million New Yorkers who receive the School Tax Relief exemption will need to re-apply as part of the state's efforts to combat fraud within the system.

    September 12, 2013

  • Returning to school takes some adjusting It’s that time of year again as students are beginning a new school year. They are probably feeling excited or a little sad that summer vacation has come to an end. Most likely they are feeling a little bit of both emotions.

    September 5, 2013

New Today!

How do you like our new website?

Its great!
Its ok
Not very much
I dont like it at all
     View Results