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Lewiston-Auburn residents bring concerns about development near Lake Auburn to state regulators

Lake Auburn at sunset on August 28, 2016.
Lake Auburn at sunset on August 28, 2016.

Nearly a dozen residents from Auburn and Lewiston have filed a complaint with the Public Utilities Commission against the Auburn Water District.

The complaint, filed Thursday, alleges that the water district is abandoning its obligation to protect Lake Auburn, which is the drinking water source for both cities.

The group alleges that the district has failed to advise on the "disastrous" consequences the city of Auburn's plan to allow development around the lake would have on water quality.

They're asking the PUC to investigate the water district and to issue a temporary order blocking actions that are inconsistent with its obligations.

Lake Auburn has a federal filtration waiver because of its water quality. But there's concern that development pressures and climate change could ultimately cause the lake to lose the waiver. Lewiston and Auburn would then have to a build a filtration plant that would cost millions and increase rates for residents.

The superintendent of the Auburn Water District says they're aware of the complaint and awaiting action by the PUC.