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Environmental activist on Phish festival cancellation


One environmental advocate claims the canceled Phish festival could have been avoided.

Toxics Targeting president Walter Hang claims his group has documents showing that the state has avoided taking action.

Heavy rains last week caused an overflow of untreated water. In response, the state department of health issued a boil water advisory, and was forced to cancel the concerts.

Hang wants to put Seneca Lake on the national registry of impaired waters. He says the water has excessive amounts of silt/settlement, harmful algae blooms and pathogens.

Hang claims proper management could have prevented the situation.

“The state authorities knew about this threat to drinking water in Watkins Glen more than a decade ago. They documented this problem in 2007, 2012, 2016,” said Hang.

"The event was so overwhelming that the lake became actually a catch basin for all of the hills around it so it was really more than could be processed," said Tim O’Hearn, Schuyler County Administrator.

That boil water advisory is still in effect in the Watkins Glen area. We are told the earliest it could be lifted is Friday.

A link to the documents can be found at