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Higgins Asks EPA to Investigate Niagara Falls Sewer Discharge

Aug 3, 2017
Press Release
Congressman Questions if Actions Taken Violate Clean Water Act or US/Canada International Water Agreements

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) is writing to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calling for a full investigation into actions which led to a substantial sewer discharge into the Niagara River on July 29, 2017. 

Higgins expressed support for the ongoing review by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) but questioned whether the incident may have violated national and international regulations, “While I have full confidence in the DEC, given the importance of this water body and its international nature, I write today to request that the EPA investigate this discharge as well to determine if there was any violation of the Clean Water Act of 1972 (as amended), its associated regulations, or the United States’ obligations under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 or subsequent international agreements,” wrote Higgins.

Higgins, a member of the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force added, “This discharge is disconcerting not only because of the importance of the tourism industry in Niagara Falls, but also because of the significant and unique ecosystem in the Niagara Gorge downstream of the Falls.  The preservation of vital resources like these are among the agency’s most important responsibilities.