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For Release: Monday, April 8, 2013

DEC: Onondaga Lake Dredging to Resume With Additional Odor Control Measures

Additional odor control measures will be in place when dredging and capping of contaminated sediments in Onondaga Lake resume for the season, likely on April 10, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. The current plan is to start on Wednesday for 12 hours for dredging only, which will increase to normal operations 24 hours a day, six days a week starting Thursday, weather permitting. Capping
activities are expected to start in the coming weeks.

DEC met with Town of Camillus officials to discuss the startup and additional odor control measures after DEC and Honeywell evaluated the feasibility and effectiveness of such measures for implementation in 2013. These additional measures include installing:

  • a 35-foot tall windscreen along the northern edge of the Sediment Consolidation Area
    (SCA) and the north side of the East Basin spanning approximately 1,900 linear feet to
    reduce wind speeds and enhance the effectiveness of the misting system. This measure
    will be in place before dredging commences;
  • a vegetative barrier in areas north of the SCA to further reduce potential offsite migration
    of odors. Work is underway and plantings are anticipated to be completed by mid-April.
    The full benefit of this measure will not be realized until the trees branch out and fill in
    over the growing season;
  • geotextile tube covers to reduce emissions related to dewatering. Modified geotextile
    tubes are already on site and ready for use;
  • improvement and expansion of the odor control misting system to intercept potential
  • containment during transportation and stockpiling of oversized material to reduce
    potential odors; and
  • a floating cover over the entire East Basin.

Honeywell implemented other odor reduction measures in 2012 (see October 2012 fact sheet).

Short and long-term air monitoring is being conducted in accordance with a Community Health and Safety Plan and data is continuously reviewed by DEC, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The data collected to date does not indicate a community health concern; all levels are lower than concentrations established for the protection of public health. Data from the onsite air monitoring stations is available .

By the end of 2013, dredging will be about halfway complete. Dredging is anticipated to be finished in 2015 and capping in 2016. Habitat restoration activities will be performed in all remediated areas and habitat reconstruction work is anticipated to be completed in 2016. The $451 million Superfund remediation project has undergone five years of design and engineering; about 400 million gallons of water were treated and 230,000 cubic yards of lake material were removed in 2012 before operations were inactivated for the winter. Honeywell International is conducting the project with oversight by DEC, DOH and EPA.

More information about the Onondaga Lake dredging project is available on DEC's website including Frequently Asked Questions, June 2012 .