Niagara Gazette

Local News

October 21, 2013

Pollution could foil Buffalo public beach plans

BUFFALO — A plan to create the city of Buffalo's first public beach for swimming could be derailed by concerns over pollution along a stretch of Lake Erie waterfront.

A report prepared for the Erie County Health Department concludes that opening Gallagher Beach in South Buffalo as a public swimming area is "probably impractical."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in Buffalo last month to announce that Gallagher Beach and the nearby Small Boat Harbor will become part of a new state park under plans to transform 400 acres of underutilized land along the waterfront.

The pollution concerns include the outer harbor near the beach that has sediment contaminated with PCBs, two nearby Superfund sites and a storm water discharge drain about 600 feet south of the beach.

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