Toxic algae that has created a ban on swimming at Lake Hopatcong could emerge as an issue in the race for State Assembly in the heavily-Republican 24th district.
Democrat Deana Lykins said that GOP incumbents Parker Space (R-Wantage) and Hal Wirths have resisted moves to mitigate the crisis that has affected a lake that is a major economic center for the district.
A former State Senate staffer, Lykins says that Space and Wirths have opposed measures to fund lake maintenance and deal with a runoff issues by creating stormwater utilities.
“Our representatives statewide dragged their feet on adopting such a proposal for years. Space, Wirths, and (Senator Steve) Oroho actively opposed it, knowing full well the potential danger of allowing runoff to continue unimpeded,” a statement from the Lykins campaign said. “The result: phosphorus levels in the lake are eight times higher than is considered safe. This is completely unacceptable.”
Lykins is also alleging that there is no clarity about the safety of drinking water in the area.