LOCKPORT, N.Y. -- We're asking the tough questions after the Niagara County Legislature passed three non-binding resolutions calling for criminal investigations into last month's black sludge incident at the Falls.
Nine of Niagara County's 15 legislators showed up to Thursday night's special meeting to unanimously pass all three non-binding resolutions calling for full investigations into July's wastewater discharge incident.
The requests are being sent to the New York State Attorney General, Niagara County District Attorney, and the Environmental Protection Agency and ask for investigations "up to and including the filing of criminal charges."
"These are non-binding resolutions" said 2 On Your Side’s Kelly Dudzik.
"Correct," said Niagara County Legislature Majority Leader Randy Bradt.
"So, do they really have any teeth?" asked Dudzik.
"Well, what we're asking for here, and very rarely do I find myself on the same page as the Governor, within 24 hours he acted, as I've said in previous statement and I said again today, you can see the timeline of events of what's transpired since the onset of this incident. Anybody that's seen TV has seen the black sludge pouring through. All we're doing as a legislative body is asking the tough questions, making sure whoever or whatever can be held accountable," said Bradt.
Bradt says depending on what the D.E.C.'s investigation reveals, the legislature may take further action.
"Are you confident that the results of those investigations will be made public?" asked Dudzik.
"Well, I will do everything in my power to get all of the information necessary for the people that, or the body that did this, to be held accountable," said Bradt.
While he says he's disappointed the six other legislators did not show up, he insists, "This is nothing political, this is our environment, our taxpayers, our constituents."
And when questioned about that, he said: "This is strictly 100 percent, I can say on my side and of all of my fellow legislators, we are doing what should have been done in the first place."
On Thursday, the Niagara Falls Water Board responded to the D.E.C.'s request for more information about what happened last month. The Water Board says that information is confidential. It also said that if that basin has to be dewatered again, it won't discharge it directly into the basin it put it into on July 29 until further notice.