Mar 23, 2011

Onondaga Lake Areas of Concern

This is the best map I've seen describing all the areas around Onondaga Lake that are of concern to the health of the Lake (click on the map to view the larger version at DEC's website). It's hard to help a patient heal when you don't have a full diagnosis, right? I particularly like the inclusion of all of Onondaga Lake's tributaries. This includes sites that are being handled under other remedial programs within the Department of Environmental Conservation, in addition to the Superfund sites. I believe that this does not include sites that are being investigated under the voluntary cleanup program.

Mar 21, 2011

Mercury in Birds

Sarah Wraight, myself, and Betsy Robson presented "Re-imagining the Future of Onondaga Lake"
to F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse last Friday morning. There were a number of good questions asked afterward, including one asking about the impact of the mercury pollution of Onondaga Lake on the eagles.

Mercury in Onondaga Lake is primarily found in the sediments; it enters the food chain through bacteria at the bottom of the lake, which are then eaten by macroinvertebrates (underwater bugs), then fish, and then eagles. Because fish eat many macroinvertebrates, eagles eat many fish, and mercury is not easily eliminated from their systems, it "bioaccumulates". The US Fish and Wildlife Service studied songbirds and shorebirds around Onondaga Lake. These birds' diets rely on the macroinvertebrates when the bugs reach the flying stage of their life.

"Data collected through this study will help evaluate whether or not mercury levels on Onondaga Lake are a concern to other bird species, including bald eagles that winter in large numbers on the lake," the USFWS website states. "The study showed blood levels of mercury that were as high as 2 parts per million in those birds, while the threshold of concern for sensitive species is closer to 0.6 parts per million. Further studies are now being conducted."

In other words: the birds have reason to be concerned about what they're eating.

Mar 9, 2011

Crouse-Hinds Landfills Site: Comment Period Extended to March 25th

The Crouse-Hinds Landfills Site is a NY State Superfund site composed of 2 inactive landfills that lie near Ley Creek and 7th North Street in the City of Syracuse and the Town of Salina. The NY State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued a Proposed Remedial Action Plan for the site, and is accepting public comments on the plan through Friday, March 25th. Learn more about the site and how to make your voice heard by clicking on the links below:

Questions about this NYS Superfund site? Contact:

Project Related Questions:
Richard Mustico, P.E.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway
Albany, NY  12233
Phone: 518-402-9676

Project Health Related Questions:
Mark Sergott, Project Manager
New York State Department of Health
547 River Street
Troy, NY 12180-2216
Phone: 800-458-1158 Ext. 27860

Mar 7, 2011

"Porous Pavement in Cold Climates" is SOLD OUT!

 “Porous Pavement in Cold Climates,” a full-day workshop on green infrastructure, green jobs, and green funding, has sold out! The workshop will focus on working with porous pavement in Onondaga County including instruction on the design and installation of porous concrete and asphalts, and opportunities involving the local green-job workforce in future projects.  Visit the Onondaga Environmental Institute’s (OEI) website to request information about future events.  In late March, check back on OEI’s site to access PowerPoint presentations and other conference materials!