Agreement Will Aid in Cleanup of Onondaga Lake and its Shoreline
Onondaga County Executive Nicholas Pirro and Honeywell International Inc. have announced the final and complete settlement of a lawsuit filed by the company 10 years ago, marking a fresh start in the way the county and the company will work together on environmental cleanup work involving Onondaga Lake.
At a joint press conference in Syracuse on January 12, County Executive Pirro and Kate Adams, Honeywell Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, said they would work even more closely together to achieve environmental remediation of Onondaga Lake and its shoreline.
“I welcome Honeywell’s decision to bring this lawsuit to a close,” said County Executive Pirro. “I applaud Honeywell for its recognition of the importance and value of putting this matter behind us and allowing us to focus attention on the important goal of restoring Onondaga Lake for the citizens of this community.”
“Resolving this litigation is an important step in our efforts to continue the cleanup of Onondaga Lake and its shoreline,” said Adams. “County Executive Pirro’s commitment to protecting the future of Onondaga County and its resources has made this settlement possible. The agreement will open the way for even closer cooperation among the county, the state of New York and Honeywell. We look forward to working together as the lake cleanup moves forward.
“The settlement resolves a lawsuit brought by Allied-Signal – a predecessor of Honeywell – alleging that the county had contributed to the release of hazardous substances into the lake. The county denied all of charges alleged in the lawsuit. Both parties have now agreed that a settlement without further litigation is in the public interest.
The county and the company agreed to work together cooperatively on a comprehensive environmental remediation plan to clean up the lake and adjoining parcels of land.
As part of the agreement, Honeywell has committed itself to the following steps:
- Honeywell will upgrade and modernize the pump station and pipeline for the wastebed overflows that are sent to the county’s Metro treatment plant and to pay the county an annual fee of $350,000.
- If any cleanup in or around the lake involves the use of a landfill or cap on Honeywell’s property, the company will pay a special assessment to the county until the property is put into productive use.
- The company will insure the integrity of the county’s “Loop The Lake” bike trail during any cleanup activities in and around the lake.
- Honeywell will continue to cooperate with the county going forward.
Honeywell intends to communicate regularly with the county on all matters concerning the lake system and to cooperate fully during the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation review of the feasibility plan for the lake cleanup. The settlement must now be approved by the Onondaga County Legislature on March 1. After approval by the legislature, the settlement will be submitted to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York for approval.
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