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Senator Rachel May continues to push for the cleanup of Owasco Lake
Owasco Lake provides drinking water for residents in Cayuga County.

State Senator Rachel May is pressing newly appointed acting Health Commissioner James McDonald on his plans to continue updating the Owasco Lake Watershed Rules and Regulations. According to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, polluted runoff from the area around the lake is increasing phosphorus and bacteria levels in the water. There is also a concern about harmful algae blooms.

May said during a recent trip to Albany that she met with an environmental health team from the health department and was given a timeline for the updates.

"Finally getting an answer for the Watershed Rules and Regulations that their association has put together, and they promised me in about three months an answer," May said.

The guidelines have not been updated since 1984. Since that time, New York has established new environmental regulations. May represents the Owasco Lake watershed, which provides drinking water to Cayuga, Onondaga and Tompkins Counties, including the city of Auburn.

With the lake providing drinking water to over 40,000 Cayuga county residents alone, May said it’s essential to update the guidelines immediately.