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State lawmakers want clear oversight after Lockport cave tragedy

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  • Staff Report 

In the aftermath of the fatal Lockport Cave and Underground Tours boat accident two weeks ago, New York Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt has expressed concern about irregular state inspections and unclear agency oversight.

Ortt says the oversight appeared to be inconsistent, depending on who was in office or who received complaints.


The immediate response from the governor’s office has been to assign oversight of the attraction to the Department of Labor.

Ortt, together with Assemblyman Mike Norris, is sponsoring legislation to definitively assign oversight to the State Parks Department for attractions similar to the cave tour.

These attractions, typically geological man-made mechanical boat attractions on man-made waterways, tunnels, and lakes, have been neglected, Ortt believes, due to their inability to fit neatly into categories such as amusement park rides or already regulated water bodies.

While the legislation aims to avoid future accidents, it also seeks to restore confidence in Lockport’s tourist attractions, which are a vital part of the local economy.



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