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Auburn, Owasco call for stricter pollutant controls as Owasco Lake’s condition worsens

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The city of Auburn and the town of Owasco have intensified their demand for stricter pollutant controls for Owasco Lake after uncovering a revealing letter from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the state.

The Auburn Citizen reports both the city council and town board recently passed resolutions seeking a total maximum daily load (TMDL) — a regulatory measure determining the upper limit of allowable pollutants in a waterbody — for the lake.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

This comes after an EPA letter criticized the state’s omission of Owasco Lake from its list of impaired waterbodies requiring TMDLs due to harmful algal blooms.

Local officials have been advocating for a TMDL for Owasco Lake since 2016, following the detection of toxins from harmful algal blooms in its water supply.

Highlighting the lake’s worsening condition, officials like Owasco Supervisor Ed Wagner say 2022 data showing elevated toxin levels from algal blooms is cause for concern.