A call for action on sewer overflows

News and analysis by Dan Telvock, Investigative Post's environmental reporter

The federal Environmental Protection Agency gave Buffalo 20 years to curb its sewer overflows into Scajaquada Creek and other waterways flowing through the city. That’s not fast enough, said Erie County Legislator Patrick Burke, whose district includes Cazenovia Creek, which, like the Scajaquada, he says is badly polluted by sewer overflows.

The lack of urgency among local, state and federal authorities has him frustrated. Therefore, he’s invited the responsible parties to a public meeting next month in an attempt to bring transparency to a problem that’s tainted local waterways for a century.

“We’ve kicked the can down the road on this for a very long time, and I don’t want see that happen anymore,” said Burke, who represents South Buffalo and Cheektowaga. “We’re investing millions of dollars into the waterfront, but we’re not investing enough money immediately into the actual water.”

Ron Plants of WGRZ reports, with perspective added from Dan Telvock.