BEMUS POINT – Chautauqua County’s representative in Congress says he wants to help improve the health of Chautauqua County’s greatest resource. On Friday, Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning) was in Bemus Point announcing his effort to take action to improve water quality in Chautauqua Lake and offer financial assistance to the community toward cleanup efforts.
Reed said he has drafted legislation known as the Impaired Waters Improvement Act, which he says will provide grant opportunities to communities affected by an inundation of phosphorus in local waterways. Locally, the bill will help all communities around Chautauqua Lake address the long-term costs associated with the Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) of phosphorus and meet water quality needs.
In 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accepted the TDML submitted by NYS Department of Environmental Conservation for phosphorus in Chautauqua Lake and local officials soon learned the lake’s TMDL requires costly improvements to local water systems.
Funding for the grants will be raised through revenue gained from penalties imposed under the Clean Water Act, with the aim of helping communities meet water quality requirements without introducing any new spending.
Joining Reed on Friday in making the announcement was Assemblyman Andy Goodell (R-Chautauqua), County Executive Greg Edwards (R-Jamestown), County Legislators Fred Croscut (R-Sherman) and Vince Horrigan (R-Bemus Point), and Bemus Point Mayor Bryan Dahlberg.