Assemblyman Luster Calls for DEC Investigation of LSC Approval - Pollution Discharge Permit May be Illegal

In a letter to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Assemblyman Martin A. Luster has requested that the SPDES permit for the Lake Source Cooling project "be rescinded or that its operation be temporarily suspended" while the DEC examines the legality of the permit. The SPDES or State Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit is a fundamental requirement for the project. Without it, Cornell's Lake Source Cooling plan cannot move ahead.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and CLDF brought the problem to Luster's attention after the DEC ignored repeated attempts by CLDF to inform them that the permit may have been issued against federal law. The U.S. Clean Water Act prohibits new SPDES permits for discharges that will cause or contribute to violation of water quality standards set by the Clean Water Act. LSC would reduce water quality by adding heat to the lake and by transferring phosphorus from the bottom of the lake to the surface.

Cayuga Lake has been on a New York State list of impaired waterbodies since 1996 and swimming has been prohibited at Stewart Park for more than 30 years because of poor water quality.

Prepared by the Cayuga Lake Defense Fund (CLDF).
For more information, Call: 275-9054 or 272-7914 or email

CLDF 1999