New York Senator Charles E. Schumer yesterday called on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to swiftly issue federal wetland permits so that local officials can begin the critical Owasco Flats Wetlands Restoration project.
The senator said in his announcement that the proposed project has already been approved and funded by the state, and that the USACE permit approval is all that is needed for the project to begin.
Schumer called on the feds to immediately greenlight the permit so that local officials can continue their work to protect the county’s largest source of drinking water, Owasco Lake.
The Owasco Flats Restoration Project has long been identified as a key tool to reduce phosphorus and sediment loads running into Owasco Lake.
The State Environmental Facilities Corporation awarded the county $712,000 for Phase I of the project back in 2011. The project has been held up since then by state and federal permitting processes.
With the State Department of Environmental Conservation issuing their permits earlier this month, the last step is for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to issue a federal wetland permit and an environmental assessment.