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NYS expands lawsuit over Lake Ontario flooding

Veronica Volk

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York State 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 is 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 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 state Department of Environmental Conservation 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's Office seek compensatory damages in excess of $50 million for damages:

  • to state property
  • for funds the state spent and will spend to repair harm to property, municipalities, and residents
  • to natural resources, including the value of lost recreational activities