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Onondaga Lake Dredging Project Update- November 2012, Fact Sheet

Onondaga Lake Bottom Site, Onondaga County

Dredging Completed for the Season

Dredging of lake sediment was completed for the season on November 19, 2012 and will resume in 2013 when temperatures consistently rise above freezing. Approximately 233,000 cubic yards of sediment were dredged from the lake since late July 2012. Advance notice will be provided prior to dredging in 2013. Capping activity in the lake will continue for the next several weeks depending on weather conditions. Honeywell will also winterize lake dredging and Sediment Consolidation Area (SCA) equipment over the next few weeks.

Off-Site Odors

As a result of increased reports of odors beginning in late August, dredging operations were suspended by Honeywell from September 20th until October 11th, 2012. During this time, Honeywell improved dredging operations and expanded odor reduction measures. When dredging resumed, on‐site odor conditions were noticeably improved; however, occasional odors continued to be experienced and reported by residents of a neighboring community. Although odor mitigation measures implemented this year were effective in reducing off‐site odors, the DEC recognizes the need to explore further mitigation measures. During the dredging off‐season, DEC and Honeywell will evaluate additional odor mitigation measures for implementation next dredging season.

Air Monitoring Data Reviewed

DEC, the New York State Department of Health (DOH), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have reviewed daily data collected at eight real‐time air monitoring stations surrounding the entire perimeter of the Sediment Consolidation Area (SCA) site and three real‐time monitoring stations along the lakeshore. The contaminant levels detected were well below the short‐term air quality criteria established for this project to provide protection to the surrounding community. A map showing the location of the onsite monitoring stations as well as data from these stations are available via the link in the right-hand column of this page.

Long‐term chemical monitoring data is also collected at four of the eight real‐time air monitoring stations at the SCA. While 12 months of data is necessary for direct comparison to the long‐term air quality criteria, individual sampling results are considered and used to guide decisions as the project progresses. A full year of data is necessary to deem compliance with the long‐term air quality criteria; however, the data collected to date can be used to determine if additional measures are appropriate to ensure such compliance. Using all available data through October 2012, all monitoring stations have average concentrations below the long‐term air quality criteria for all compounds.

The long‐term exposure concentration is calculated by averaging sampling results collected every 6th day over an entire year. Dredging began in mid‐July 2012 and samples to assess long‐term exposure have been collected every sixth day since then. In early November, some nearby interested residents were provided with data from the first 2.5 months of dredging (through September) which showed an average benzene concentration of 2.2 micrograms per cubic meter (mcg/m3) at one of the four monitoring locations, monitoring station #7. The long‐term air quality criteria established for benzene is 1.9 mcg/m3. Using all available data collected through October 2012 and, in part, because of odor mitigation measures implemented and other modifications to dredging/SCA operations, the average benzene concentration at monitoring station #7 was reduced to 1.8 mcg/m3. The average benzene concentrations at the other three monitoring locations continue to remain below the long‐term air quality criteria. Annual concentrations will continue to change as more data is collected and calculated in the average. DEC, EPA and DOH will continue to carefully monitor the data to ensure both the short‐ and long‐term air quality criteria are met and any public health concerns are addressed. The DEC expects to provide an update on these data in January 2013. Consistent with the project Health and Safety Plan, short‐term air monitoring will not occur when dredging is not occurring over winter months. However, long‐term air monitoring will continue throughout the year.

24-Hour Project Hotline

Although dredging operations have ceased for the season, if you experience dredging‐related odors or have questions about Honeywell's dredging operation, please call the 24‐hour project hotline at 315‐313‐8068. Other questions about the Onondaga Lake project can be directed to those listed on page one of this fact sheet or by emailing

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 for review on DEC's website 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) 475‐1170
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, 447 South Salina Street, Syracuse, NY 13202 (315) 435‐1800
Solvay Public Library 615 Woods Road, Solvay, NY 13209 (315) 468‐2441

* Please call for an appointment

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