Legislation in Albany to protect Cayuga Lake
ALBANY, NY (Erie News Now)--Some New York State lawmakers are expressing concerns about Cayuga Lake--a drinking water supply for 100,000 New Yorkers, and the salt mine operating underneath it.
A NEWLY INTRODUCED bill SEEKS TO REQUIRE AN ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION BEFORE ANY SALE, TRANSFER OR PERMIT RENEWAL FOR SALT MINES OPERATING UNDERNEATH BODIES OF WATER LIKE CAYUGA LAKE.
SOME LAWMAKERS SPONSORING THE LEGISLATION SAid IT’S BEEN TOO LONG SINCE A STUDY HAS BEEN DONE ON THE IMPACTS AND RISKS OF SALT MINES ON FRESH BODIES OF WATER.
“I felt it was important to take proactive steps to ensure that an environmental impact study is actually done,” said Sen. Lea Webb (D-52nd Senate District).
SOME EXPERTS SAID CAYUGA LAKE IS SALTIER THAN ANY OF THE OTHER FINER LAKES—CAUSING CONCERN FOR THE LAKE’S DRINKING WATER CAPABILITIES.
“Salination of our drinking water sources is a huge concern. Often times the effects of salination are irreversible,” said Rob Hayes, director of clean water for Environmental Advocates NY.
SOME ADVOCATES SAID A ENVIroNMENTAL IMPACT STUDY IS CRUCIAL TO AVOID POTENTIAL DISASTERS FOR CAYUGA LAKE.
“One drilling accident could actually make this lake into a saltwater lake, much like it did in Lake Peigneur, or the Retsof mine, when there was a collapse there and that would destroy the drinking water source,” said Stephanie Redmond, program manager for Cayuga Lake Environmental Action Now.
Redmond added New Yorkers also rely on Cayuga Lake for economic and tourism purposes.
THE LEGISLATION IS CURRENTLY IN THE RULES COMMITTEE IN THE SENATE.