NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has directed state regulators to investigate wastewater discharges that turned the water near the base of Niagara Falls black last weekend.
The governor announced Monday that the city of Niagara Falls may have violated state water quality standards Saturday when the local wastewater treatment plant discharged foul-smelling, black-colored water into the Niagara River just below the falls.
“Violations of the state’s water quality standards are a serious issue,”Cuomo said on Twitter. “I have directed DEC to immediately get to the bottom of this event.”
Cell phone video shows the black-colored water, that enveloped the dock for the popular Maid of the Mist tour boats on the American side of the falls. Visitors also a noticed the smell of sewage coming from the water.
Officials with the city’s water board said the discharge was part of routine maintenance of one of its basins. The murky water had dissipated by Sunday morning.
Cuomo says the Department of Environmental Conservation is conducting the investigation. Violations carry a maximum penalty of $37,500 each.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)