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Community Volunteers Visited Geddes Brook to See How Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps Helped Bring Back 65 Fish and Wildlife Species

Community Volunteers Visited Geddes Brook to See How Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps Helped Bring Back 65 Fish and Wildlife Species

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Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps

To learn more about the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps or participate in future activities, please contact Chris Lajewski at montezuma@audubon.org or call 315-365-3588.

Work Begins on Onondaga Lake Cleanup

Expanded Environmental Cleanup Activities Will Prevent Mercury and Contaminated Groundwater from Reaching Onondaga Lake

Honeywell has started construction on two complex, state-of-the-art systems to stop contamination from entering Onondaga Lake.

The control of nearby upland sites once used by Honeywell’s predecessor firm, Allied Chemical, is a key part of the cleanup of Onondaga Lake and is essential for permanent improvement in environmental quality in and around the lake.

A Critical Next Step in the Lake Cleanup – Stopping Contaminated Groundwater from Entering the Lake

To prevent the migration of contaminated groundwater from entering Onondaga Lake, Honeywell will construct a groundwater treatment system, build a 7,800-foot barrier wall along the Onondaga Lake shoreline to prevent contaminated groundwater from entering the lake, and isolate groundwater flow from the drainage system under Interstate 690. The treatment system, which will be located on Willis Avenue, is a cornerstone for the cleanup of the lake and enables a number of other projects to follow.

Honeywell has accelerated the start of construction of the groundwater treatment plant by one full year so that the facility will be ready for operation in the late fall of 2005.

Collecting and Treating Groundwater

In order to collect the groundwater a new groundwater pumping station will be constructed at the lakeshore. The pumping station will be designed to pump groundwater collected at the lakeshore under Route 690 to the new treatment system. Two new 250,000-gallon equalization tanks (with covers) will be installed to temporarily store the water. The water will then be processed through the treatment system to remove the contaminants.

All treatment tanks will be covered and the treatment equipment will be enclosed. Vapors generated by the treatment units will be captured, treated and vented in compliance with New York State standards.

Design of the plant will be completed by the beginning of the year and construction will be completed in the spring of 2006.

“Soil Washing” Removes Mercury at LCP

Accelerated cleanup activities continue at the former Linden Chemicals and Plastics (LCP) Bridge Street facility, which has been identified as a source of mercury to Onondaga Lake. Since 1995, 21,000 gallons of contaminated liquids, 280,000 pounds of sludge and 3,380 cubic yards of debris and contaminated soil have been removed from the site.

The primary objective of work now underway is to eliminate migration of mercury from the site to the lake. Honeywell is removing mercury from the most contaminated soil on the site and transporting the mercury to an off-site recycling facility.

An innovative technology called “soil washing” is being used to remove mercury from soils. Soil washing is a process designed to remove contaminants from soil using water to separate the soil into course and fine materials. The contaminants are flushed from the larger soil particles and collected through a rotary separation process which separates the denser contaminants (elemental mercury) from the fine silt and clay particles.

An estimated 4,010 cubic yards of soil will be “washed” during this phase of work, setting the stage for final remediation and future redevelopment of the LCP site.