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Advocates call for state intervention over potential sale of salt mine under Cayuga Lake

Gabe Altieri
WSKG (File Photo)
The shoreline of Cayuga Lake. Advocates are calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul to intervene in the potential sale of a salt mine under the lake.

FingerLakes leaders and advocacy groups are calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul to intervene in the potential sale of Cargill’s Cayuga Lake salt mine.

State Assemblymember Anna Kelles, local Finger Lakes leaders and the advocacy group Cayuga Lake Environmental Action Now, CLEAN, are looking to stop what they are calling the “secret sale” of the Cargill salt mine on Cayuga Lake. Reports that Cargill has begun working with financial advisors to sell the site are leaving the leaders concerned over a lack of environmental protections surrounding the mine.

Kelles said environmental data showing Cayuga Lake as the saltiest of the Finger Lakes puts water and public health at risk.

“It’s clear by just the stats that you’ve heard and the concentration of salt that we’ve seen in both Seneca and Cayuga that the prioritization of the health of the Finger Lakes is not there,” Kelles said. “So that is something that we really need to stop and recognize.”

She said protecting the lakes impacts public health and a healthy economy and is asking Hochul to intervene with an independent environmental review and more public conversation.

“We need to be able to both protect the public health of our people and the drinking water of our people, while simultaneously recognizing that we need to protect the economic development of the area,” Kelles said. “We can do both. It is necessary that we do both.

Abigail is a temporary WRVO News Reporter/Producer working on regional and digital news stories. She graduated from SUNY Oswego in 2022 where she studied English and Public Relations. Abigail enjoys reading, writing, exploring CNY and spending time with family and friends. Abigail first joined the WRVO team as a student reporter in June 2022.