State Senate Candidate Amber Small Demands Water Quality Hearings for WNY

BUFFALO, NY – Today State Senate Candidate Amber Small issued a demand for Water Quality Hearings to be held in Buffalo in addition to those already being held in Long Island and Albany by the NY Senate and Assembly.

 “We are home to New York's largest freshwater basin yet water quality problems plague us in Western New York. There should be hearings here to tackle this issue. It is a slap in the face to not hold a hearing—to not even give concerned residents the opportunity to have their voices heard. Shame on Albany,” remarked Small.

“Just this week the Investigative Post issued a report on the disparity of lead testing in Buffalo’s drinking water and the uncanny similarities to water operations in Flint, Michigan,” said Amber Small. “We have the highest number of lead poisoning incidents in Upstate New York. That fact alone should warrant Water Quality Hearings by the State,” She added.[1]

 She continued, “And it’s not just our water delivery system. Over the past week, several storms brought Western New Yorkers some much needed rain, but they also served to remind us that tens of thousands of gallons of untreated sewage and wastewater are regularly dumped into our waterways. This results in unsafe bacteria levels, beach closings and pollution to our source of drinking water and most precious natural resource.”

 “Water quality is not an isolated problem. It is a regional issue that we cannot afford to ignore. Our campaign will continue to bring constant attention to this issue. Just a few weeks ago we presented a plan for regional solutions and called upon the state to provide the dedicated financing that all of our local communities need to upgrade their aging sewer and water infrastructure.” said Amber Small.

 According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation “Alert Sewage Spill Notifications” (, over 60,000 gallons of untreated waste water and sewage were dumped into several of our waterways, including: Ellicott Creek, Two Mile Creek, Cazenovia Creek, Scajacquada Creek, Niagara River, Buffalo River, Black Rock Canal and even the Erie Basin Marina. These alerts were triggered by several sewer discharge events last week across Tonawanda, Buffalo and West Seneca.[2] The DEC has listed each of these overflows as posing a significant threat to life or property and that responsive action should be taken immediately.

 The full proposal as well as a detailed account of the sewer overflow problem can be found at

 A full video of the press conference held in July on this issue can be found at:




Small serves as the Executive Director of the Parkside Community Association. In this role she is an advocate for 2,500 residents, working to enhance their quality of life through crime prevention, traffic calming, fair housing advocacy and more.  Amber also serves on the Board of Directors for B-Team Buffalo, and is a member of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce’s Emerging Business Leaders council.  She proudly serves as Vice Chair of WEPAC, a nonpartisan group focused on increasing female involvement in politics and government. Amber is a graduate of the University at Buffalo, and resides in North Buffalo’s Parkside neighborhood with her family. New York's Sixtieth Senate District is located wholly in Erie County and includes the communities of Tonawanda, City of Tonawanda, Kenmore, Grand Island, Hamburg, Orchard Park, Evans, Brant, and the City of Buffalo.  Small is endorsed by the Democratic Party, the Working Families Party and the Women’s Equality Party.


[2] The DEC has indicted that these alerts are ongoing and preliminary and will be updated with final numbers when available.