Former Commissioner of Onondaga County Department of Emergency Management Joins Team as Advisor for Emergency Preparedness
As preparations continue for lake dredging and capping, substantial progress has been achieved on the Onondaga Lake cleanup. The start of dredging and lake bottom capping, transporting and containing the dredged materials, and start-up of a new water treatment facility will begin this summer. Sustainability and reduction of greenhouse gases are important considerations for the project design and construction.
At every stage of the project an experienced team of engineers, risk managers, construction managers, and quality control professionals incorporates health and safety into all aspects of the lake project. For example as a safety measure, a double-walled pipe will carry material removed from the lake to the consolidation area; the material will move through a 16-inch pipe, which is inside a 22-inch pipe. Sensors will be able to determine if there are any leaks or losses in pressure.
Industrial-strength geotextile tubes will contain the material in the lined consolidation area, and an air monitoring system will be expanded to ensure that the air quality at the perimeter of work areas remains below government criteria. Prevention measures are intended to eliminate or minimize any spills of dredge material, fuel, and other fluids.
Measures also will be implemented to minimize potential risks to recreational boaters. All appropriate federal and state navigation laws will be followed including the U.S. Coast Guard rules for navigation. During nighttime operations, all vessels and on-water equipment will be well-lit to improve visibility.
Continuing its commitment to bring the best nationally recognized experts into the project, Honeywell asked Peter Alberti, former commissioner of Onondaga County Emergency Management, to join its team of local professionals from Parsons, O’Brien & Gere, and Anchor QEA, who have developed health and safety plans for the project. Alberti brings more than 30 years of experience in health and safety, and emergency response and preparedness. As a project advisor for emergency preparedness, he has reviewed lake cleanup plans, and is coordinating with local first responders to ensure both teams are well prepared prior to the beginning of lake dredging this year.
“There are extensive plans and contingencies built into the lake cleanup plans and I am proud to bring my years of safety and emergency experience to this project,” said Alberti. “We will continue to facilitate ongoing coordination with emergency responders and Honeywell safety teams to ensure project personnel are prepared and equipped to handle any incident, regardless of size.”
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released the draft Onondaga Lake Operations Community Health and Safety Plan on March 30, 2012. The Honeywell team, working under the supervision of DEC, has worked for six years on the development of the lake cleanup designs, which have included input from the community.
The planning process included:
- Remedy selection and design to reduce or eliminate hazards (enclosed pumping system, double containment pipeline, and industrial-strength geotextile tubes)
- Evaluation of hazard scenarios with an experienced team of health, safety and process professionals
- Modification of designs to further mitigate hazards
- Development of contingency response actions in the unlikely event an incident occurs
“Honeywell is committed to meeting or exceeding state and federal standards, and applying best industry practices to protect workers and the community,” said Honeywell Syracuse Program Director John McAuliffe. “We have incorporated community input into the design and will employ the best industry practices to minimize risk. We have coordinated with local emergency responders for seamless integration in the unlikely event of an incident.”
Current air and odor monitoring results at the consolidation area in Camillus, which is under construction, are available here. As lake operations begin, the program will be expanded to also monitor the work area at the lakeshore in order to protect workers and the community.
Community health and safety plans are developed for all project phases and reviewed by DEC and the New York State Department of Health (DOH).
Honeywell’s Emergency Response Team will receive specialized training in emergency response techniques. Alberti is part of this team, which continues to meet with local emergency responders, including those from Camillus, Solvay, Lakeland, the City of Syracuse, Geddes, Liverpool, the Onondaga County Department of Emergency Management, and the Onondaga County 9-1-1 Call Center to prepare and coordinate emergency response efforts.
In the unlikely event of an incident, emergency responders would follow nationally recognized procedures to efficiently transfer information and commands between Honeywell’s Emergency Response Team and the off-site local emergency responders.
Individuals interested in more information should contact Honeywell at 315-552-9784.
For more information on the Onondaga Lake cleanup or to sign up for Honeywell’s Onondaga Lake cleanup e-newsletter, visit www.lakecleanup.com.