NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Niagara Falls Water Board, and its wastewater treatment plant, suffer from a lack of training, incorrect procedures and poor systems, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.
But those issues are not just related to the infamous dump of black, smelly water in late July, he said. These problems, according to the governor, are much more pervasive.
Cuomo said the discharges were the result of a lack of training and improper operating systems. He says no more discharges are allowed to come from the Niagara Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant unless they are supervised by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
Cuomo does not think that the DEC found evidence of an incident like this happening previously.
In the long term, he wants the problems that have been identified to get fixed.
During his speech, the governor said the state has been working hard for years to clean up water across the state. He went on to say that millions of dollars have been spent on marketing for the state, and that pictures of the black discharge, which were seen worldwide, have worked against marketing efforts.
Cuomo wants to make sure incidents like this do not happen again.
“This will not be tolerated,” he said.
Cuomo says the state will enter into a consent decree to lay out terms and conditions of long-term solutions.
The Niagara Falls Water Board released a press release Thursday evening, stating that the board will assess the documents and work with the DEC to improve plant performance.
“The NFWB joins Governor Cuomo and the DEC in a united desire to preserve the natural wonder of Niagara Falls. We will continue to work with DEC in the coming weeks and months, and expect to engage in ongoing, collaborative dialogue regarding the terms of the draft consent order to maximize the environmental benefits of any improvements made,” the statement said.
Investigation into the July and August incidents, as well as the Niagara Falls Water Board, is ongoing