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  • 1. Onondaga Lake Cleanup EK335 Presentation By: Nancy Neely
  • 2. Location: Syracuse, New York Area: 4.6 square miles Most Polluted Lake in the United States
  • 3. 1799Salt production begins 1918Organic chemicals and 1883chlorine gas Solvey Process production builds on shore 1976Resource 1970- Conservation and Recovery Act Fishing Banned Onondaga Lake Timeline 1940Lake declared 1884unsafe for Soda ash swimming production begins 1825Erie Canal opens 1972Federal Clean Water Act 1994Lake becomes Federal Superfund Priority
  • 4. Onondaga Lake after the Industrial Revolution  Added to National Priorities List by United States Environmental Protection Agency  List is the “most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the United States”  165,000 pounds of mercury over 100 years
  • 5. Chemicals include; mercury, petroleum hydrocarbons (fuel products), chlorinated solvents and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB's) – proven carcinogens
  • 6. Effect on Wildlife  “A major goal of the remedial actions being undertaken in Onondaga Lake is to reduce the level of mercury contamination in the lake’s fish. It is uncertain that this goal can be achieved.” – 2002 DEC report
  • 7. Metro
  • 8. Cleanup begins…  Onondaga County Metro sued by State of New York and Atlantic States Legal Foundation – forced to bring wastewater into compliance  New York State sued Allied-Signal, Inc. (now Honeywell) seeking to compel the company to pay to clean the lake  Estimated $451 million total
  • 9. Sustainable Restoration Plan  The Onondaga Lake Cleanup Plan issued by DEC and EPA in 2005     1. Preventing migration of containments from old industrial sites 2. Removing and containing sediment from the bottom of the lake at approved sites 3. Creating a sustainable habitat along the shore for wildlife and local recreation 4. Implementing a long-term operation, maintenance, and monitoring program to ensure effectiveness
  • 10. Dredging Equipment
  • 11. Cleanup Process      2.65 million cubic yards of “lake muck” dredged 500 acres of lake bottom will be “capped” with sand and dirt Metal retaining wall to keep contaminated groundwater from flowing into the lake Dredging soil in adjacent creeks and brooks 3 billion gallons of water being treated
  • 12. Progress  Lake quality is reported as being “the best it has been in decades”  Reports of lower mercury levels in fish
  • 13. Controversy  Onondaga Nation  Up to 80% of polluted sediment is remaining in place  Temporary solution- some believe excess wave action will make the cap fail eventually  Camillus- suing for not monitoring dumping of “sludge”
  • 14. Questions? Resources: http://www.lakecleanup.com/progressnews/metrics/ http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/ 2013/03/camillus_residents_sue_honeywe. html www.dec.ny.gov http://www.upstatefreshwater.org/html/o nondaga_lake.html http://students.sunyocc.edu/central.aspx ?menu=542&id=13388 http://students.sunyocc.edu/central.aspx ?id=13392 http://onondagalake.org/Sitedescription/ OnondagaLakeBottomSediments/docs/O nondagalake_asFS1Aand%201B_ver%203. pdf http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/regions_pdf /oltimeline.pdf http://upstatefreshwater.org/html/involve ment.html http:// www.camilluscleanair.org/?q=blog/2013/ 04/09/new-report-out-onondaga-lakedredging