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Assembly members call to stop Cayuga Lake salt mining expansion


LANSING, N.Y. -- There's a new call to stop the expansion of salt mining under Cayuga Lake - and to move operations out from under the water.

Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton wrote a letter to the DEC detailing concerns with the Cargill Cayuga Salt Mine.

She says an expansion under the lake could potentially cause major risks, in the event of mine failure.

Lifton referenced the Retsof Mine collapse in Livingston County in 1994, saying it caused sink holes, property damage and polluted water.

She says her team's main concerns are protecting the lake and ensuring its sustainability.

But some former mine workers and other legislators say there is no problem with the mine remaining under the lake.

"The DEC has signed off on the project. They are the scientists that have signed off on this," said Mike Sigler, a Tompkins County legislator. "So they are denying the science from the state and listening to other people who really don't know what they're talking about."

"This is something serious that I think the state ought to look at," said Lifton. "I'm not making a final judgment call, that's not my expertise or authority."

Cargill's Salt Mine manager says the mine gets inspected once a year.