"They have failed to manage the lake level -- period. End of story. It was their job. They failed," Cuomo said as he made the announcement Wednesday during an appearance at a lakeshore restaurant in
"We will not shoulder the burden of the destruction that is a direct result of the IJC's gross mismanagement of
The IJC considers itself exempt from lawsuits over its actions, based on a 1945 federal law and a 1948 executive order by then-President
"The lawsuit is a hard case," Cuomo said, according to a transcript of his
"This is an international entity and it is going to be a difficult case for us to make, but it is our last resort. We have tried everything else," Cuomo said. "It is a cry for help from the
"We are aware of the governor's announcement, but have not received formal notice of any action that may have been taken," IJC spokesman
The IJC's current
But in 2017 and again in 2019, record-high water levels resulted in heavy flooding and erosion along the
Last week, the lake remained 20 inches above its long-term October average, though the lake had dropped 9 inches in the past month, according to the
The IJC has blamed rainy weather for the flooding, noting that it can't regulate water flowing into the lake.
But it also adjusted its policies this year, allowing record-high outflows past the dam at
The International Lake Ontario-
The commission's six members are chosen equally by Trump and Canadian Prime Minister
Local legislators cheered Cuomo's decision. State Sen.
"These businesses, localities, and residents have been forced to live with dangerous flooding that has caused immense financial strain due to the implementation of Plan 2014," Ortt said. "
Cuomo said the state committed
This year, the state allocated
Cuomo also appointed a commission, the Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative, to make long-term plans for preventing future damage from high water. It allocated
Last week, the panel slightly altered the rules for the use of the money. It allocated
The commission also ruled that the state would assist owners of second homes along the lake with any money left after all the primary home projects are reimbursed. Until last week, second homes were not eligible for aid.
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