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Major Ongoing Natural Resource Damages Assessments

Hudson River

The Hudson River Environmental Trustee Council, made up of the Commissioner of DEC and representatives of NOAA and DOI, was created in 1997. The Trustee Council is developing a natural resource damage claim against General Electric for releases of PCB's in the Hudson River below Hudson Falls. The Trustee Council issued a Preassessment Screen in 1997, a Draft Scope of the Hudson River NRD Assessment Plan in 1998, and a Hudson River NRD Assessment Plan in 2002. For more information on Hudson River NRD, including links to specific documents and studies, see the Hudson River NRD page.

St. Lawrence River in Massena

The Responsible Parties, General Motors and Alcoa-Reynolds (now Arconic) released PCB's, PAH's and fluorides into land and waterways in and around Massena, NY as a result of historical aluminum casting and smelting activities. The NRD assessment process has been managed by the St. Lawrence Environmental Trustee Council (SLETC), which includes representatives from the Akwesasne Mohawks, NOAA, DOI, NYS Attorney General, and DEC. In 2013, the Trustees settled with the Responsible Parties for over $20M in NRD Restoration. SLETC is now implementing the Restoration and Compensation Determination Plan (RCDP), which describes the required natural resource restoration for injuries and ecological losses resulting from contamination of the St Lawrence River.

Copies of the consent decree documents (leaves DEC website) can be found on the US Fish & Wildlife Services' website. For additional information about the 2013 settlement, see DEC's press release.

Onondaga Lake

Honeywell (previously Allied Signal) is responsible for contamination of Onondaga Lake by (principally) mercury and ionic wastes (salts). DEC coordinated the NRD assessment activities with the Department of Interior, and has formed the Onondaga Lake Natural Resource Trustee Council. The trustee council and finalized an RCDP in August of 2017 and restoration efforts are currently ongoing. Copies of the Restoration Plan for Onondaga Lake (leaves DEC website), can be found on the US Fish & Wildlife Services' website.

For the current status after one year of work on the site, check the US FWS Fact Sheet, December 2018 (PDF, 578 KB).

Buffalo River

DEC, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Tuscarora Nation, collectively the Trustees, are conducting an NRD Assessment of the Buffalo River, in Buffalo, New York. The goal of the NRD Assessment process is to restore trust resources injured as a result of the release of hazardous substances to the environment. Natural resources of the Buffalo River include land, surface water, groundwater, and biota.

More information on the Buffalo River NRD Assessment (leaves DEC website), including assessment and restoration planning documents, can be found on the US Fish & Wildlife Services' website.

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