Senator Rachel May speaks out about the environmental issues threatening Owasco Lake

Senator Rachel May (Syracuse, Cayuga County), Senator Pete Harckham, chair of the Committee on Environmental Conservation, and local leaders gathered at Emerson Park to speak about the environmental issues threatening Owasco Lake.

Several years ago, a group of stakeholders developed a plan for the future health of Owasco Lake and submitted it to the New York State Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Conservation. The associated state agencies responded this summer, and most stakeholders felt the proposed plan was inadequate to address the lake’s pressing environmental issues.

Owasco Lake’s water quality is critical for the 45,000 residents who depend on it for drinking water. As an urgent matter, Senator May, Senator Harckham, and others called on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and other state agencies to implement protective rules and regulations that will address harmful algal blooms, elevated levels of phosphorus, and other pollutants that make the water less safe for all users.

As climate change and other factors threaten New York’s freshwater resources, the developed plan can be used as a blueprint to guide other municipalities and stakeholders as they protect the freshwater in their communities.