Cornell University funding study of organic pollution in Cayuga Lake

New York conservation officials have issued a pollution discharge permit for Cornell University's cooling facility while requiring the school to fund a study of organic pollution in Cayuga Lake.

The Department of Environmental Conservation says the $2.1 million study will identify the sources and effects of phosphorus, which turns water green with algae and reduces oxygen.

The south end of Cayuga Lake has been identified as impaired water due in part to phosphorus from sources like municipal wastewater discharges, storm water runoff and agriculture.

Cornell's cooling facility draws water from the lake, uses it to cool campus buildings and then discharges it back. Its effect on water quality is unknown.