U.S. Water News Online
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Honeywell International says it has
removed the largest source of mercury leaking into Onondaga Lake.
John McAuliffe, Honeywell's Syracuse-area program coordinator,
called the accomplishment a milestone.
"We need to get these former (Allied Chemical) properties cleaned
up before we start remediation of the lake bottom," McAuliffe said
during a tour of the former LCP Chemicals property in Geddes.
Clean up of the 30-acre site has taken two years and cost $16
million, he said.
The chemical plant, at its peak, once dumped 20 pounds of mercury
per day into the lake. Honeywell removed more than 7 tons of mercury
that remained in the ground.
The LCP Chemicals plant is part of the legacy of the former Allied
Chemical complex. Allied made chlorine at the plant for almost 40
years before selling it to LCP Chemicals in 1979. LCP operated the
plant until June 1988, when the company was forced to close the
factory under state pressure because of repeated chlorine gas leaks.
Its owners declared bankruptcy in 1992.
Honeywell merged with AlliedSignal Inc. in 1999 and agreed to
clean up pollution left behind by the former Allied Chemical complex
on the lake's western shore. Allied was Onondaga Lake's largest
To make sure no more toxic chemicals leave the site, Honeywell
will operate an onsite groundwater collection system. A five-story
underground barrier wall will prevent contaminated water from leaving
Clean up of the site is just one part of a larger remediation
project. Honeywell and the state continue to negotiate over the
extent of that remediation.
The state has proposed Honeywell spend $451 million to dredge 2.65
million yards of contaminated sediment from the lake and cover 579
acres of the lake bottom with a cap of sand, gravel and other
material. The cleanup would take seven years. Honeywell has proposed
a $237 million, 3-year plan to dredge 508,000 cubic yards and cap
about 350 acres.
Onondaga Lake was once a sacred Indian waterway but has been
turned into a toxic stew from a century of municipal and industrial
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