Storms lead to another sewer discharge into Niagara River

Posted at 12:12 PM, Aug 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-23 18:23:18-04

Tuesday's round of thunderstorms triggered another sewer discharge into the Niagara River.

An estimated 1.1 million gallons of untreated sewage was discharged over a span of three hours, from approximately 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., in the area of the First Street Bridge connecting the city with Goat Island.

Tuesday's discharge comes at a time when Congressman Brian Higgins is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to launch a full investigation into the July 29th sewer discharge into the lower Niagara River near the Maid of the Mist docking station.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has also directed state regulators to investigate the discharge, which the Niagara Water Board said it released as a "short term change in the waste water treatment process."

On Wednesday, Governor Cuomo's office released an updated statement, saying:

"Earlier this month, I directed the Department of Environmental Conservation to launch a comprehensive investigation into the discharge of black wastewater into the Lower Niagara River which occurred on July 29th. At my direction, DEC has informed the Niagara Falls Water Board that they must cease any discharges from the sediment basin until the investigation is complete. In addition, DEC is instructing the Water Board to evaluate permanent solutions such as requiring automatic shutoff valves. DEC has further directed the Niagara Water Board to submit a report on the incident by September 1, and we expect this investigation to be completed in the coming weeks."

Just last week, another discharge took place in the same area following heavy rain.