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Draft Onondaga Lake Capping, Dredging and Habitat Final Design


The draft Onondaga Lake Capping and Dredging and Habitat Final Design (dated August 2011) has been submitted by Honeywell and reviewed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This document provides design information on the capping and dredging components of the Onondaga Lake remedy.

Onondaga Lake Design Overview

The Onondaga Lake remediation plan was separated into four designs in order to advance critical design components so that dredging activities can begin as scheduled in May 2012. This document addresses the capping and dredging parts of the Onondaga Lake Bottom remedy. The design describes the areas of the lake that will be dredged and capped, the components of the cap, and the factors that were evaluated in order to select those components.

Capping and Habitat Restoration

Habitat considerations have been integrated into the Onondaga Lake Bottom capping and dredging design.

The cap will be made up of several layers dedicated to various purposes. These layers will include a habitat layer, an erosion protection layer, a buffer layer, and a chemical isolation layer. The cap will provide long-term isolation of underlying sediments. It will be resistant to erosive forces such as ice, wind and wave-generated currents, and inflows from tributaries. The cap also will provide a suitable habitat that plants, animals, and fish can use. Sediment caps are a proven technology and have been implemented at numerous sediment remediation sites. The cap will:

  • restore and enhance aquatic habitat in the lake
  • isolate the contaminated sediment from the aquatic environment
  • reduce or eliminate the dissolved contamination flowing from the lake bottom into the upper layers of the cap
  • stabilize contaminated sediment, preventing resuspension and transport of contaminants to the deep area and other areas of the lake.

The cap design provides long-term protection to human health and the environment, including plants and fish. A long-term monitoring and maintenance plan will be developed and implemented to ensure that the cap performs as intended.

Dredge Criteria and Volumes

Dredging is a major component of the remedy and is scheduled to begin in May 2012. Just as the cap design was influenced by habitat requirements, the dredging plans also were influenced by the need for various water depths in different parts of the lake in order to achieve specific habitat-based goals.

The lake remedy, which was specified in the 2005 Record of Decision, included dredging up to 2.65 million cubic yards of sediment. Subsequent data collection and more detailed design evaluations from 2004 to present have led to a more accurate estimate of about 2.17 million cubic yards of sediment to be dredged. Dredge volumes will continue to be refined throughout the design phase.

A primary factor in the lower volume estimate is the installation of the Willis-Semet IRM underground barrier wall. Based on data and stability evaluations, the decision was made to move the barrier wall offshore. This placement helped ensure the stability of I-690 and allowed some of the contaminated material to be captured behind the wall.

Draft Onondaga Lake Capping, Dredging and Habitat Final Design

Honeywell Responses To NYSDEC's April 25, 2011 Comments (PDF) (73 pages, 330 kB)

Draft Onondaga Lake Capping, Dredging and Habitat Final Design Text (PDF) (155 pages, 1.2 mB)

Figures 1.1 through 4 (PDF) (34pages, 3.4 mB)

Figures 5 through 9 (PDF) (19 pages, 1.8 mB)

Note: Appendices for this plan are not provided on this web page at this time, but can be reviewed at the document repositories. Repositories are listed below.

Atlantic States Legal Foundation
658 West Onondaga Street
Syracuse, NY 13204
Phone: (315) 475-1170
Please call for an appointment.

Camillus Town Hall
4600 West Genesee Street
Room 100
Syracuse, NY 13219
Phone: (315) 488-1234

Liverpool Public Library
310 Tulip Street
Liverpool, NY 13088
Phone: (315) 457-0310

Moon Library
1 Forestry Drive
Syracuse, NY 13210
Phone: (315) 470-6712

625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-7016
Phone: (518) 402-9676
Please call for an appointment.

NYSDEC, Region 7
615 Erie Blvd. West
Syracuse, NY 13204-2400
Phone: (315) 426-7400
Please call for an appointment.

Onondaga County Public Library - Central Library at the Galleries
447 South Salina Street
Syracuse, NY 13202
Phone: (315) 435-1800

Solvay Public Library
615 Woods Road
Solvay, NY 13209
Phone: (315) 468-2441

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