Central New York, Environment, Health, Public Safety, Syracuse

Onondaga County Legislature Postpones Extended Bike Trail Vote

Onondaga Nation representatives urge County Legislature to not rush with the building of the bike trail in Murphy's Island.

By Anthony Haynie III, Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) — The Onondaga County Legislature gathered today to vote whether or not they would extend the bike trail that surrounds Onondaga Lake to Murphy’s Island. However, the vote was postponed to a later date, which pleased many representatives of the Onondaga nation as they urged the County Legislature to reconsider extending the biker trail to such a contaminated area.

Alma Lowry, an environmental attorney for the Onondaga Nation, shed light on the chemicals like PCB and Benzen, metals such as lead, arsenic and mercury, and other pesticides that have been found in Murphy’s Island. She deemed that if the County was to begin building the biker trail with the condition that Murphy’s Island is in now, it would be an environment injustice to Syracuse residents. She wants the County to clean up the contaminated area, before thinking to even build such a biker trail.

“Ask DEC how long it’s going to take them to get to actual remediation plan,” said Lowry “So that you can ensure that if a bike trail does come though this site that it’ll be compatible with the remediation plan that is chosen.”

Lowry isn’t fully opposed to the bike trail, but she does want to make sure Syracuse residents that recreate in Murphy’s Island are protected first, so cleaning up the area is her main issue.