Apr 29, 2011

Remediation Activities at Lower Geddes Brook


Remediation activities are about to begin at the lower part of Geddes Brook, an area that is considered part of the Geddes Brook / Ninemile Creek site under both the NY State Superfund program and the US federal Superfund Program. The area to be remediated is located just west of the NYS State Fairgrounds. Honeywell, the responsible party, will be carrying out the remediation with oversight from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the NYS Department of Health.

According to the NYSDEC, this Interim Remedial Measure includes:
  • Removal of approximately 84,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil and/or sediment from the Geddes Brook channel and adjoining floodplains, the Geddes Brook culverts, the Outfall 019 drainage ditch and associated floodplains. [Expected to be complete by December 2011]
  • Consolidation of removed soil/sediment at the LCP Containment System.
  • Treatment of construction water at a treatment plant that is currently being constructed on the LCP Bridge Street property.
  • Relocation of the Geddes Brook channel downstream of the culverts.
  • Placement of clean materials throughout the area and restoration of the Geddes Brook creek bed, banks, floodplains, wetlands, and habitats. [Completion is expected in 2012.]
Removal of contaminated soil and sediment in and around Ninemile Creek downstream of Geddes Brook is expected to begin in 2012.

For more information about this Interim Remedial Measure, download the NYSDEC’s fact sheet.

To download other public documents relating to this subsite, click here.

Investigation of Soil Contamination at Bloody Brook


As part of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s (NYSDEC) Voluntary Cleanup Program, Lockheed Martin Corporation (Lockheed Martin) will be carrying out soil sampling around Bloody Brook, a tributary to Onondaga Lake that passes through residential, commercial, and light industrial areas in the Town of Salina and Village of Liverpool.

Past sampling at the site has shown concentrations of cadmium (a substance that is toxic to human health) in soil and sediment that exceed the levels recommended by the NYSDEC.  Concentrations of cadmium in the soil ranged from undetectable levels up to 5,350 parts per million, with the highest concentrations generally found at depths greater than 1 foot. Although the NYSDEC, NYS Department of Health, and the county Health Department have determined that the risk of exposure to cadmium in the soil is minimized by vegetative cover and difficulty of access to some areas of the site, the Onondaga County Health Department recommends avoiding contact with sediment in the brook or soil along its banks until the site has been remediated.

The 7-week investigation that will start this spring will provide more information about the extent of contamination in order to develop a remediation plan for the site. About 740 samples will be taken, of which over 700 will be collected from residential areas.

For a brief summary of the upcoming investigation, download the NYSDEC’s fact sheet. 

For a copy of past sampling data, future sampling maps, and details about the procedures to be used in future sampling, download the Design Soil Investigation Work Plan. The plan has been approved by the NYSDEC.

Update on remediation of the lake bottom


The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has released an update on the construction work being carried out as part of the remediation of the Onondaga Lake Bottom, a subsite of the Onondaga Lake Superfund site.  Current activities include preparation for the construction of the water treatment plant and the Sediment Consolidation Area (SCA) on Wastebed 13 in the Town of Camillus. When operational, the SCA will hold most of the contaminated soils dredged from the lake bottom.

During the rest of this year, work will continue on constructing the water treatment plant, the SCA, and various support structures. Another construction project scheduled for this year is the sediment slurry pipeline, which will pump a mixture of water and dredged sediment from the lake to the SCA.

For more information about these activities, check out the NYSDEC’s fact sheet. Many other public documents related to the remediation of the lake bottom are available on NYSDEC’s website.

Click here to see a copy of the Onondaga Lake 2011-12 Construction Community Health and Safety Plan. You can also visit Honeywell’s website to see results of air quality monitoring at the perimeter of the work zone.

Apr 27, 2011

Upcoming presentations of "Re-imagining the Future of Onondaga Lake"

Join us for these upcoming presentations of "Re-imagining the Future of Onondaga Lake"!


Thursday, May 5th, Baldwinsville Public Library: 33 East Genesee Street, Baldwinsville; 7-8 PM

Monday, May 16th, Solvay Public Library: Community Room, 615 Woods Road, Solvay; 6:30-8 PM

To schedule a presentation for your community organization, please contact Sarah Wraight (Staff Writer) by email, or Meredith Perreault (OEI Project Manager), by email or phone: 472-2150, ext 10.

Apr 21, 2011

Biocultural Restoration and Onondaga Lake


    Yesterday, Sarah Wraight from OEI presented “Re-imagining the Future of Onondaga Lake” at SUNY-ESF as part of the Earth Week 2011 festivities.  Several audience members requested additional information about biocultural restoration.  
    The following link is a copy of a letter written in 2010 by a number of SUNY-ESF faculty in response to the publication of Honeywell’s draft Onondaga Lake Habitat Restoration Plan (December 2009).  It provides an introduction to the biocultural approach to environmental restoration and names some examples of successful projects grounded in that approach:

Apr 15, 2011

Oren Lyons at Onondaga Lake

We are almost done with the interviews to turn OEI's fantastic presentation on "Reimagining the Future of Onondaga Lake" into a DVD. Michael Contino and I followed Onondaga Nation Turtle Clan Faithkeeper Oren Lyons to Onondaga Lake Park yesterday, to record a bit by the shoreline there. The ancient willow tree by the lake has little leaves on it! Spring is certainly coming.

Oren shared with us the fact that the first Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse game was played at Onondaga Lake Park, over 20 years ago. It was with some chagrin that we noted the field had since been paved over; all that remains are the stadium lights around the parking lot. Well, the Iroquois Nationals have moved on to bigger fields since then… hopefully we'll see the team compete in Prague in May!

Earlier in the afternoon Oren had been telling me about an epic adventure hunting a deer when he was 12. It was in the winter, and he finally hunted down the deer after crossing wetlands and ravines all day, just as the sun was setting. Having secured the deer out of predators' way, he ran home as fast as he could, near exhaustion. Oren's a much better storyteller than I – you'll have to ask him for all the details. The relevant part to our day yesterday were the hot dogs his aunt offered him when he showed up, half frozen, on her doorstep. "Best hot dogs I ever had!"

So, with fond memories of good hot dogs on our minds, we went to Heid's.

Apr 14, 2011

Join in the Creek Float! Art Parade on Onondaga Creek on May 7th


On Saturday May 7th at 2 PM, a floating art parade will make its way down Onondaga Creek!  The Public Arts Task Force and the Creek Rats are organizing this fun community event, and are looking for individuals who’d like to help out.  Here’s how you can get involved:
  • Play your instrument in a canoe (canoers and life vests provided) in the art parade.
  • Create a float and bring it to the Murbro parking lot behind the MoST in Syracuse at 1 PM on parade day. You can create a float on your own or attend one of the workshops that will be held on Sunday April 17th, 1-4 PM and Wednesday April 20th, 6:00-8:30 PM at Craft Chemistry, 745 North Salina St, Syracuse.
  • Donate materials for floats (inner tubes, paint, cardboard, etc) by bringing them to Craft Chemistry, 745 North Salina St, Syracuse.
  • Canoe down the creek and help shepherd the floats.
  • Come to Armory and Franklin Squares in Syracuse on May 7th and enjoy the parade!
Rain date: Sunday, May 8th
For more information, contact Meghan Holtan, 907-244-2453 or mtholtan@yahoo.com