Onondaga Lake dredging has begun, following all system checks, equipment testing, and government approvals. This is a critical component of the lake cleanup plan, which is based on sound science and incorporates input from top national and local scientists, engineers, experts in the field, and community members, who participated in a series of public meetings that have been held since 2004.
More than 500 Central New York scientists, engineers, and skilled craft laborers have been working with Honeywell to build the infrastructure necessary for lake operations. Protection of the public’s health and safety is an important part of every stage of the work to restore Onondaga Lake. The dredged material is not exposed to the open environment and extensive efforts are being taken to minimize odors.
The remedy was designed to reduce or eliminate potential hazards (enclosed pumping system, double-containment pipeline, and industrial-strength geotextile tubes). Honeywell has also coordinated with local emergency responders for seamless integration in the unlikely event of an incident.
Over the next four years, about 2 million cubic yards of material will be removed from Onondaga Lake and pumped to a consolidation area at former industrial property off of Airport Road for drying and safe isolation long term. About 450 acres of the lake will be capped to provide a new habitat layer, prevent erosion, and isolate remaining contaminants.
In order to achieve a sustainable lake remedy, extensive wetland areas will be improved or created along key portions of the west and southwest lakeshore.
The cleanup is being completed under the supervision of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the New York State Department of Health (DOH).
Significant upgrades made by Onondaga County to its municipal wastewater treatment system plus the construction of Honeywell’s underground barrier wall, which prevents contaminated groundwater from reaching the lake, have improved lake water quality to the best it has been in decades.
Air and odor monitoring results are available at www.lakecleanup.com. Progress updates, including how many cubic yards of lake material have been removed and how much lake acreage has been capped, will be available on the website starting in September.
Individuals interested in more information on the Onondaga Lake dredging and capping process should click here or contact Honeywell at 315-552-9784.