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State Assemblywoman announces Cargill Mine letter in contentious press conference


ITHACA– The State Assemblywoman to the Ithaca area announced Thursday that she would be speaking out against salt mining underneath Cayuga Lake.

In a press conference held by the lake with Toxics Targeting President Walter Hang, Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton stated that she was part of a joint letter sent to the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation. In it, she along with fellow Assembly member Steve Englebright urge the DEC’s Commissioner Basil Seggos to prohibit the local Cargill Salt Mine from expanding beneath the lake. Lifton elaborates further on what got her involved in the issue.

“I’ve heard from a number of constituents, gotten information, gotten data, and I’ve grown increasingly troubled about the Cargill Shaft 4 permit application”, she said. “These concerns are shared by many of my constituents who drink water supplied from this lake, live near the lake, or simply treasure Cayuga Lake”.

Hang also announced his own citizen’s coalition, and explained what they plan to do.

“We’re gonna be writing to the Governor to echo this request”, he said. “That there be a prohibition on any issuance or permits, approvals or authorizations of any kind that could lead to salt mining continuing under the lake”.

The press conference grew heated at several moments, with members of the community calling Hang an “alarmist” and that this move was a ban on all area mining. Lifton moved to deny this however, stating that as an alternative Cargill could instead focus on digging beneath adjoining dry land.