"Black water discharge" leads to costly penalty
The Niagara Falls Water Board is being fined by the state over its "black water discharge" near the base of the Falls on July 29. Governor Andrew Cuomo calls the incident inexcusable.
Speaking to reporters along the rim of the gorge, near the Rainbow Bridge, on Thursday, Cuomo said, that the black water discharge not only damaged the environment - it hurt Niagara Falls image around the world. He says it had nothing to do with the condition of the sewage treatment plant.
"To say, 'Well it's an old plant' is baloney. That's creating a boogeyman. This is not about the age of the plant. This is about operator error," Cuomo said.
An investigation by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation found equipment was not properly maintained and that workers were not adequately trained. Cuomo says the Niagara Falls Water Board must enter a consent decree with the DEC prohibiting future black water discharges and requiring the board to pay a $50,000 penalty.