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Onondaga Lake Dredging Project Update- October 4, 2012, Fact Sheet

Onondaga Lake Bottom Site (#7-34-030) Onondaga County - October 4, 2012

Dredging Commenced

Honeywell began ramping up dredging and capping operations in late spring 2012 and commenced dredging on a 24-hour/6 day a week schedule on July 30, 2012. Modifications to the dredging schedule have occurred for maintenance purposes.

Off-Site Odors

In late August, some residents in Camillus began experiencing occasional nuisance odors and reported this to the 24-hour Onondaga Lake project hotline (315-313-8068) dedicated to handle community inquiries about the Onondaga Lake dredging operation. The majority of calls were received during the first three weeks of September.

Investigations Conducted

Every odor concern has been investigated by Honeywell's air quality team, with results forwarded to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). On many occasions, DEC participated in the odor investigation in consultation with the Honeywell investigative team. DEC also conducted independent investigations of some of these concerns.

Although every investigation has not resulted in clear conclusions, odors from the Honeywell sediment processing operation on Wastebed 13 were confirmed at nearby offsite locations on some occasions. On other occasions, odor complaints were confirmed from other sources not related to the lake project.

Air Monitoring Data Reviewed

DEC, the New York State Department of Health (DOH), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reviews and will continue to review daily data collected at the real-time air monitoring stations surrounding the entire perimeter of the Sediment Consolidation Area (SCA) site (see map below). These monitoring stations are capable of detecting volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can cause odors, at levels protective of public health. When measurable, the VOCs have been detected at levels well below the threshold levels established to provide protection to the surrounding community.

The total VOC levels detected at the perimeter monitoring locations do not represent a public health hazard. Data from the onsite monitoring stations (link leaves DEC website) are available.

Efforts to Curtail Nuisance Odors

When investigating offsite odor calls, additional monitoring via hand-held devices was conducted near the odor location, and none resulted in detection of any levels of VOCs. However, persistent off-site odors of a nuisance level are being addressed by DEC, and Honeywell has cooperated in taking steps to address the issue immediately. Dredging operations have been suspended since September 20, 2012 and several measures have been taken onsite to mitigate odors. Additional measures are also being implemented prior to recommencing dredge activities. Odor reduction measures include:

  • Installation of an odor control misting system;
  • Significant reduction of temporary standing water in the active water basin;
  • Installation of a cover system on active work areas in the water basin;
  • Enhanced capture of vapors from the thickeners by installing a standalone carbon
    filtration system; and
  • Covering geotextile bags with plastic when they are full.

All efforts to improve conditions will continue with oversight from DEC. Dredging will commence once these improvements have been completed, which is anticipated to be within the next two weeks.

24-Hour Project Hotline

If you experience nuisance odors or have questions about Honeywell's dredging operation, please call the 24-hour project hotline at 315-313-8068. Each time you call this number you will be asked to provide critical information (name, address, phone number, email (optional), and the nature of your concern) that will assist DEC and Honeywell with their response.

To Receive Additional Updates

Project updates will continue to be available via DEC's Onondaga Lake News email list.

Location of Reports and Information

Project documents are available online for review and at the following locations.

Location of Reports and Information
Location Address Phone
Atlantic States Legal Foundation* 658 West Onondaga Street, Syracuse, NY 13204 315-476-1170
Camillus Town Hall 4600 West Genesee Street, Room 100, Syracuse, NY 13219 315-488-1234
Moon Library, SUNY ESF 1 Forestry Drive, Syracuse, NY 13210 315-470-6712
NYSDEC Central Office* 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233 518-402-9676
NYSDEC Region 7* 615 Erie Boulevard West, Syracuse, NY 13204 315-426-7400
Onondaga County Central Public Library The Galleries, 447South Salina Street, Syracuse, NY 13202 315-435-1800
Solvay Public Library 615 Woods Road, Solvay, NY 13209 315-468-2441

* Please call or an appointment.