Sewer discharges go beyond Niagara Falls incident

Aug 27, 2017

The group Environmental Advocates of New York says nearly 336 million gallons of sewage have been discharged into New York waterways since mid-May.

The release of a black, smelly discharge into the Niagara River in late July made international headlines. But environmentalists say the other sewage overflows deserve just as much attention. They say most happen when it's raining.

Storm runoff contributes to pollution of waterways
Credit Photo courtesy of NYSDEC

"We need urgency for every discharge, not just those that may undermine tourism," Travis Proulx of Environmental Advocates said.

Sunday's Buffalo News is reporting today that Cheektowaga is the worst offender with more than 200,00 gallons of sewage and storm water overflows.

Officials at the State Department of Environmental Conservation say they are holding those who violate clean water standards accountable through strict enforcement actions.

"We're hitting not just the big issues but also minding the statewide problem of water infrastructure," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said.

Andrew Cuomo signed the $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act this spring to help local governments pay for infrastructure upgrades.