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NIAGARA FALLS – State officials were violating federal regulations with the plans to build a new State Parks Police station on the Niagara Gorge, Rep. Brian Higgins said today.

The plans, which were put on hold on Sunday, would have put the barracks on currently unused land owned by the New York Power Authority. That would have triggered the need for a review and approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, a process that has yet to take place, Higgins said.

Higgins said he applauds the decision to suspend preliminary site work, saying in a written statement he opposed the plan “for the lasting effect it would have on limiting public access to the Niagara Falls waterfront.”

“I very much value the good work of [the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation] generally and the Parks Police specifically, but this proposal needs to go back to the drawing board, as administrative facilities of any kind are not the highest and best use for the land on top of the Niagara Gorge,” Higgins said in a written statement.