QLLA’s Community Affairs Committee hosted three area Vermont legislators for a briefing on the Milfoil infestation of our Lake Pinneo. Senators Dick McCormack, Alice Nitka and Alison Clarkson joined QLLA officials, Craig Allsopp, president, Norman Watts, BOT member and committee chair, Sean McLaren, general manager and other committee members in the Clubhouse Board Room. Ken Lallier, QLLA property manager, led the briefing and a golf-cart tour of the lake. He is responsible for ultimate remediation of the Lake Pinneo infestation.
QLLA leadership and members are concerned that the infestation not engulf the entire lake, limiting its value as a recreation facility and nature preserve. Lallier proposed a chemical solution rather than the ineffective manual removal of the plants. The chemical, known as “Sonar,” has succeeded against the plants in other geographic regions without any damage to the environment or wildlife.
The difficulty is Vermont’s unique sensitivity to use herbicides to ameliorate infestations. The QLLA lake is different from the northern Vermont lake that caused the permit stall, Lake Iroquois in Williston. That lake is very populous and is a source of drinking water – unlike Lake Pinneo.
The legislators were previously aware of the infestation and actively engaged in the discussion. They promised to contact the permitting agency – not to pressure the decision-makers but to apprize them of their interest and the differences between the involved bodies of water. After the meeting, there were meaningful discussions between the legislators and state officials.
Lallier will work all winter on the permitting process, with the legislators and the state agency officials. He is “fairly confident” the state will grant the QLLA permit request next spring.
The committee will also continue to monitor the process and report to our members on progress.
Norman Watts, Committee Chair