Bloody Brook

Bloody Brook

Description

Bloody Brook runs through a residential area which includes both single family homes and an apartment complex, commercial and light industrial areas, and ultimately discharges to Onondaga lake. GE operated a plant upstream until Martin-Marietta purchased the plant from GE in the early 1990s, which then merged with Lockheed to become Lockheed-Martin Corp (LMC).

Aeriel view of Bloody Brook (highlighted in green) in relation to Onondaga Lake

Aeriel view of Bloody Brook (highlighted in green) in relation to Onondaga Lake

This section of Bloody Brook (outlined in green) is roughly 1 mile from Onondaga Lake to the New York State Thruway

This section of Bloody Brook (outlined in green) is roughly 1 mile from Onondaga Lake to the New York State Thruway

Views of Bloody Brook - Courtesy of Lockheed Martin

Views of Bloody Brook – Courtesy of Lockheed Martin

 

Environmental Issues

Mercury, PCBs, PAHs, copper and cadmium have been found in the stream sediments. In the adjacent soil, cadmium concentrations of up to 5,300 ppm (compared to normal background of <0.5ppm)  have been found in soils up to 14 feet below the land surface.

What’s been done to address the problem?

In April 1997 Lockheed Martin Corporation, with NYSDEC oversight, commenced a sediment removal project in the West Branch of Bloody Brook. The project included sediment removal from within a 200-foot long culvert beneath the New York State Thruway and sediment removal along a 750-foot segment of the stream beginning at the end of the culvert. In 2008, LMC cleaned out sediments from 4-5 more West Branch culverts, and has offered to undertake a much more extensive cleanup, including removing up to 5 ft of soils from residential yards. This work would take apporximately 2 years to complete.

Liverpool, NY

In 1947, General Electric — a Lockheed Martin heritage company — opened its doors at Electronics Park in Liverpool, N.Y., a suburb of Syracuse. The facility became part of Martin Marietta in 1993, then part of Lockheed Martin in 1995 after Martin Marietta and Lockheed merged to form Lockheed Martin Corporation. In the mid-1990s, during an environmental investigation of tributaries that flow into Onondaga Lake, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) detected elevated cadmium levels in sediment in West Branch of Bloody Brook, which flows through Electronics Park and discharges into the lake.

NYSDEC found elevated levels of cadmium, a metal used in plating lines at the facility, in the brook’s sediment but not in surface water, indicating that a release had taken place many years before. Following the state’s testing, Lockheed Martin began voluntary environmental investigations in 1996. After identifying the locations with the highest levels of cadmium, in 1997 the Corporation removed 325 tons of sediment from a 750-foot stretch of the West Branch of the brook closest to the facility. Between 2001 and 2007, Lockheed Martin collected more than 1,000 soil samples further downstream and found elevated levels of cadmium at depths ranging to 15 feet deep. The New York State Department of Health has reviewed the results of the sediment and soil sampling and has not identified immediate human health concerns. However, the Onondaga County Health Department has issued an advisory for residents to avoid contact with the brook. Lockheed Martin entered into a Voluntary Cleanup Agreement with NYSDEC in 2002.

After considerable investigation, Lockheed Martin created a Remedial Action Work Plan (RAWP) that it submitted to NYSDEC in March 2005. NYSDEC proposed increasing the scope of the plan, which Lockheed Martin has done and will be submitting in late 2008. In summary, the proposed plan calls for excavating more than 39,000 tons of sediment and soil from the brook channel, side banks and properties (wooded, residential and municipal areas) adjacent to the West Branch of the brook. Pending NYSDEC approval, the work would be completed between 2010 and 2012.

In addition, at the request of Onondaga County, Lockheed Martin was involved in removing sediment from culverts along the West Branch of the brook. Under Lockheed Martin’s Interim Remedial Measure (IRM) Work Plan, which NYSDEC approved in April 2008, Lockheed Martin already has removed sediment from three sets of culverts.

Documents:

Contacts for more information and comments
Richard Mustico, Project Manager     rxmustic@gw.dec.state.ny.us             phone: 518-402-9676
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway, 12th floor; Albany, NY 12233-7016

Documents for this site are available for public inspection at:

Atlantic States Legal Foundation Depository Library
658 West Onondaga Street, Syracuse NY 13204-3711
Please call (315) 475-1170 to make an appointment.

Onondaga County Public Library
Central Branch at the Galleries 447 South Salina Street, Syracuse, NY 13202
Phone: (315) 435-1800      [No appointment needed.]
Hours: M, Th, Fri, Sat, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Tu, W, 9:00 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-7016
Hours: M – Fri, 8:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Please call (518) 402-9676 to make an appointment

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Region 7
615 Erie Blvd. West, Syracuse, NY 13204-2400
Hours: M – Fri, 8:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Please call (315) 426-7400 to make an appointment

This Fact Sheet was funded through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Technical Assistance Grant program.

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