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Officials in Auburn, Owasco continue calls for Gov. Hochul to act on Owasco Lake issues

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

In a fervent plea to Gov. Kathy Hochul, Auburn Mayor Michael Quill and Owasco Supervisor Ed Wagner voiced concerns over Cayuga County’s water quality, urging action to prevent a crisis akin to Flint, Michigan’s notorious water debacle.

The Citizen reported their concerns in a joint letter authored by the local officials, which addressed the state’s handling of Owasco Lake’s water quality.


Despite the rules not being updated since 1984, momentum for change grew when toxins from harmful algal blooms were detected in drinking water. In response, in 2020, both Auburn and Owasco endorsed a proposal, which they then forwarded to the state Department of Health.

A point of contention remains the local proposal’s stronger emphasis on nutrient management regulations, while the state’s proposal focuses on voluntary participation in environmental programs without introducing fresh rules to tackle pollution.

Furthering their call to action, Quill and Wagner are pressing Gov. Hochul to instruct the state Department of Environmental Conservation to establish a pollution control plan or total maximum daily load (TMDL) for Owasco Lake.