Onondaga Lake Cleanup – Syracuse, NY

  • Honeywell
Project Value

$451 million (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Record of Decision)




Sustainable Restoration

Onondaga Lake is located northwest of Syracuse, NY, extending 4.6 mi long and 1 mi across. Nearly 100 years of population growth and industrial activity significantly impacted Onondaga Lake’s water quality and sediments. This impact included both manufacturing operations and municipal discharges, resulting in the release of multiple contaminants.

Honeywell first conducted a comprehensive environmental study of the area to evaluate the feasibility of various remedial alternatives. Parsons has been involved in the cleanup since the development of the feasibility study (FS) in 2004 and has served as project manager throughout the cleanup and restoration. For the FS, Parsons assembled a team of 100+ technical experts to assess practicable options to reduce risks to human health and the environment under a consent order with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Onondaga Lake

Remediation construction services began in 2005 and consisted of constructing an underground barrier wall and adjacent groundwater collection system to intercept contaminated groundwater from reaching the lake. The multiyear cleanup, which officially began in 2006, is one of the largest, most complex U.S. sediment remediation projects—as well as one of the largest environmental remediation projects in New York State. We were a key member of Honeywell’s cleanup process, with duties ranging from strategy development to project construction, labor, and dredge materials management. We concluded that an estimated 2.2 million yd³ of contaminated sediments were hydraulically dredged from the lake, transported as slurry from the lake to the dewatering area (known as the sediment consolidation area), and replaced with clean material in a process called capping.

For 13 years, we have been a part of Honeywell’s team of local and national experts working on the Onondaga Lake cleanup. As a result of our work—and the work of countless others—members of the community surrounding Onondaga Lake are once again able to enjoy the lake. Through the cleanup and habitat restoration, wildlife has also returned to the lake in both the shoreline and surrounding wetlands. These efforts have contributed to the return of 184 species to the lake and nearby areas, and this vital work is being continued by local groups and volunteers. Fishing, boating, and kayaking are also now common occurrences seen on the lake and will be available for generations to come.

Featured Nov 2016/Updated Aug 2017

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