Ortt, assemblymen in Niagara help pass legislation for state oversight over Lockport Cave

Posted 13 June 2024 at 9:18 am

Provided photo: State Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt, alongside Assembly members Mike Norris (right) and Angelo Morinello, address local media about recently passed legislation for the oversight of the Lockport Cave and Boat Tour. A boat at the Lockport Cave & Under Ground Boat Ride capsized a year ago on June 12, sending 29 people into the water with one person dying.

Press Release, State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt

LOCKPORT – New York State Senator Rob Ortt, alongside Assembly Members Mike Norris and Angello Morinello, on Wednesday discussed the passage of Senate Bill S.9241 and Assembly Bill A.10399.

The legislative action clearly defines that the Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is tasked with the oversight of the Lockport Cave and similar businesses.

The bill also provides that an inspector from the Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will at least annually inspect any vessel operated on privately or publicly owned underground, non-navigable waterways with no navigable inlet or outlet that carry passengers for compensation.

In addition, the bill also makes technical corrections and related provisions, and adds penalties for non-compliance.

“In the course of the investigation of this tragic incident, it came to light that there is no state agency tasked with overseeing these types of attractions. One of my top priorities this legislative session was to change that, ” said Senator Ortt. “With the passage of this legislation, we’re ensuring patrons can safely enjoy this unique attraction in the City of Lockport and I’d like to thank my colleagues in the Senate as well as in the Assembly for passing this important legislation.”

“This legislation closes a blind spot in safety oversight. I’m proud to have worked with Senator Ortt, Assemblyman Morinello and my colleagues in the state legislature to pass this common-sense bipartisan bill to improve safety for consumers and operators along the Canal,” said Assemblyman Norris.

The bill received wide support in both houses and now heads to the Governor’s office.