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Auburn, Owasco Seek TMDL for Owasco Lake


Two Cayuga County municipalities are once again asking New York’s governor to protect one of the Finger Lakes.

At their respective council meetings, both Auburn City Council and the Owasco Town Board unanimously passed resolutions asking New York State to implement and fund a Total Maximum Daily Load Comprehensive Watershed Clean-up Plan for Owasco Lake as required by Federal law. A TMDL is a maximum amount of pollutants allowed to enter a water body so it will meet water quality standards.

Before voting, City Councilor Jimmy Giannettino called out the state for its inaction.

“So not only has the state of New York not followed the law, they’ve ignored the will of the people,” Giannettino said. “This is our right. We have a right to clean air and clean water as enshrined in the New York State constitution. legally Owasco Lake needs a TMDL and the state has abdicated their responsibility.”

Councilor Terry Cuddy shared Giannettino’s frustrations.

“We worked for over three years to have rules and regulations passed by this body as a way to help curb [the deteriorating health of Owasco Lake] and New York State has refused to pass those rules and regulations.”

Councilor Ginny Kent, who sits on the Owasco Lake Watershed Management Council, also expressed her support for the resolution, believing it will strengthen the work being accomplished by the lake’s 9 Element Paln.

The city has been requesting a TMDL since 2016.

Auburn provides drinking water to residents in Auburn, Aurelius, Brutus, Cayuga, Felming (Water District 6), Mentz, Montezuma, Port Byron, Sennett, Springport (Water District 2), Throop, and Weedsport, totalling 45,000 people

Auburn Mayor Michael Quill and Councilor Giannettino recently met with representatives of US Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer and State Senator Rachel May where they expressed their concerns over the lake.

A rally will be held Friday evening at Auburn City Hall at 5:30 to show support for the lake and the environment as a whole.



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