County leaders call for resignation of N Falls water board following sewage discharge

Posted at 1:21 PM, Aug 03, 2017

Niagara County lawmakers called for the resignation of the entire Niagara Falls Water Board and the agency's management in response to the ongoing controversy surrounding the board's decision to discharge wastewater last week.

Several county legislators gathered Thursday to also call on the Niagara County District Attorney, New York State Attorney General and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to open criminal probes into the water board's actions.

The inky discharge was first spotted on Saturday and prompted concern from several local agencies. NYSDEC is currently investigating the discharge.

Legislators worry about potential impact of the discharge on tourism in the area, an industry that brings in $827 million annually according to the county.

Some of the lawmakers scheduled to attend the press event were Niagara County Legislature Majority Leader Randy R. Bradt, R-North Tonawanda, Legislator Rebecca Wydysh, R-Lewiston, Legislator Will Collins, R-Lockport, Legislator David Godfrey, R-Wilson.

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said it is too soon to assign blame for the incident.

“Now is not the time to play politics," the mayor said in a statement Thursday. "Saturday’s incident is a serious matter and one that is actively being investigated by Niagara Falls Police and the Department of Environmental Conservation. Rather than politicize the issue, I would encourage my colleagues in government to allow the investigation to run its full course before assigning blame.”