LOCKPORT, NY – Four Niagara County Legislators on Thursday called for the resignations of the entire Niagara Falls Water Board and the agency’s top management following Saturday’s wastewater release near the world-famous Niagara Falls.
The New York State Department of Environmental conservation is currently conducting an investigation of the Niagara Falls wastewater treatment plant, which is operated by the Water Board, and which was the source of the effluent that was discharged into the river below the falls.
The discharge turned a portion of the water black in front of thousands of visitors during the height of the peak tourism season.
“The action by the Niagara Falls Water Board was irresponsible, reckless, damaging, and more than anything completely indefensible,” said Legislature Majority Leader Randy R. Bradt (R-North Tonawanda). “It’s a compete outrage.”
In addition, the legislators say they plan to call upon the Niagara County District Attorney’s office to conduct a criminal investigation into the matter.
It should be noted however, that the lawmakers’ actions are largely symbolic, as they have neither the power to remove members of the Water Board, nor to compel the District Attorney to take action.
Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster released the following statement on the matter:
“Now is not the time to play politics. Saturday’s incident is a serious matter and one that is actively being investigated by Niagara Falls Police and the Department of Environmental Conservation. Rather than politicize the issue, I would encourage my colleagues in government to allow the investigation to run its full course before assigning blame.”
The Water Board has scheduled a 4:30 p.m. news conference to update the status of its own investigation, which you can watch LIVE on WGRZ.COM