(2:50 PM) Lawsuit Against Ellery, DEC Dismissed

Chautauqua Lake is pictured from the end of Denslow Avenue in Ellicott P-J file photo

The case of Chautauqua Institution against the Town of Ellery and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in regard to having what was called an unscientifically sound Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement prepared for the permits of herbicide applications in Chautauqua Lake has been dismissed in New York State Supreme Court.

Judge Donna Siwek delivered this decision in favor of the motions to dismiss brought by the DEC, Ellery and the intervenor-respondent Chautauqua Lake Partnership. Reasoning for the dismissal was due to Chautauqua Institution’s petition being “too late and moot with respect to the 2018 administrative process for herbicide permits and too early for any yet to be filed permit applications for 2019” as written in the ruling.

Siwek wrote that Chautauqua Institution did not challenge the issuance of the June 2018 permits, which resulted in the treating of waters in Chautauqua Lake in the towns of Busti, North Harmony and Ellery.

As such, Siwek wrote that petitioner limits are restricted to the challenges against the SEIS that was a part of the process that led to permits being allocated. The ruling described how the SEIS is not seen as the final administrative action.

“The SEIS/Findings Statements did not result in a definitive position on the action that inflicted an actual or concrete injury,” Siwek wrote in the ruling.

Furthermore, Siwek wrote that since all June 2018 permit activities have already occurred and no one person or entity sought “injunctive relief seeking to bar the application of the herbicides,” the case was determined moot.*