Did you know that 2,200 feet under Cayuga Lake, Cargill Deicing Technology mines road salt? Or that every day, brine-contaminated water flows into Cayuga Lake from the Portland Point area, along with phosphorous from nearby farms?
Cayuga Lake might look pristine, but it is threatened by industry and it is already showing signs of distress.
CLEAN, Cayuga Lake Environmental Action Now, is a group of Finger Lakes residents who want a clean lake and who are willing to educate everyone about how to protect it. We are affiliated with the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network.
We also want to hold the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation responsible for protecting a resource that belongs to ALL of us: Cayuga Lake - from the waves up above to the salt down below.
Cargill conducted a 2016 seismic study to identify in detail the geological conditions beneath the Lake. Why won’t Cargill release this study that clarifies the risks? DEC claims they don’t have the study. To understand the risk involved, we need to know more about geologically weak areas under the Lake and rock fractures in the area of the proposed shaft.
CLEAN connects the dots and shows how Cargill and DEC pay little heed to the environmental and mine safety dangers we raise. Cargill relies on procedural technicalities in its motion to dismiss. We stand for transparency and fairness in our demand for a full environmental review.
An eminent salt geologist warns in his report of the risk of mine collapse. He is joined by other highly qualified experts supporting CLEAN’s requests for additional information to complete the assessment of risk.
Cayuga Lake is at the center of who we are as a community. The Lake benefits all our community. Cargill leases the under lake mined land from New York State. Our State agencies, including the DEC, should stand up for all of us. The Tompkins County Supreme Court has the power to set aside DEC’s imprudent approval of the Cargill expansion without sufficient environmental review.
Damage to the Lake—the value in dollars could be staggering—would be greater than any financial benefit to the local economy or Cargill. Damage and loss to us and future generations is incalculable. Shouldn’t our children and grandchildren and all future generations have an unspoiled and healthy inheritance?
Cargill’ relationship with DEC is much too cozy. DEC must break from years of caving to Cargill on each under-the-lake mine expansion. Cargill claims that each step in its expansion process is unrelated to past (and future) mining plans and their associated, cumulative environmental risks. This method of proceeding by Cargill, called “Segmentation”, is a charade that should stop now—and the Court has full power to declare it a charade.
Can you imagine a more saline Cayuga Lake after a mine collapse? Affecting those who drink from the Lake, swim, fish or recreate on the lake. What about the risk to the miners? What about the plants and animals who live in and around the lake and are affected by changes in salinity more than humans? Salt mining has already raised sodium levels in the lake to twice the EPA threshold for people with hypertension.
Let’s protect our lake from this peril—let’s oppose the business-as usual-practices of Cargill and the DEC!