NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- It's been ten days since the water at the base of the falls turned black. While the Niagara Falls Water Board says human error is likely to blame, a DEC investigation is still underway.
Now, a local lawmaker is sending a strong message to the DEC as its investigation continues.
State Senator Rob Ortt sent a strongly worded letter to the DEC Commissioner calling out the Niagara Falls Water Board for initially blaming the black water on a routine maintenance issue. The letter also calls on the Commissioner to release the results of the DEC's investigation in a timely manner so the Water Board can be held accountable.
Ortt says the incident hurt the reputation of Niagara Falls and could have a negative impact on tourism. He also wants to make sure the state agency makes the results of the investigation public.
"If it's human error, who was the supervisor? Who was in charge of this individual? Somebody has to be held accountable and provide an answer. Not just, 'it's human error and as a result, you know, that's the end of it.' I think we need to know that this won't happen again and there's some action being taken to ensure it won't happen again," said Ortt in a phone call with 2 On Your Side’s Kelly Dudzik Tuesday night. "I want to make sure that this investigation doesn't drag on and people forget about it."
Ortt hasn't heard back from the DEC yet.
The Niagara County legislature will hold a special meeting on Thursday calling for a criminal investigation into the incident. The legislature announced plans to hold a special meeting last week saying it would pass a resolution calling on the state attorney general, Niagara County DA and EPA to look into the water board's actions. That meeting is Thursday at 6 p.m.
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