Dredging scheduled, despite report with new information about air contamination levels in Camillus

Dredging at Onondaga Lake scheduled to restart this week.

As activity starts to pick up at the site of the Onondaga Lake clean-up, neighbors in the Golden Meadows community can smell it.

Lynda Wade is the spokesperson for the Camillus Clear Air Coalition, which filed a lawsuit last month against Honeywell, the company handling the clean-up. She says she was outside with her neighbors on Sunday enjoying the sunshine when a familiar smell returned.

"It just came. You could smell it. It was the equivalent to as if they were dredging," says Wade.

In fact, Honeywell was prepping the pipes to restart the dredging process. Wade says the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) told her they wouldn't start until next week, which would give them time to read an independent report released Monday by two scientists.

"Essentially they were waiting for us to give them the report and say thank you that's very nice but were dredging tomorrow," says Wade.

Timothy Minnich, a Atmospheric Scientist and Meteorologist, and his Meterologist partner, Robert Scotto were hired by the Camillus Clean Air Coalition and the town of Camillus to look back at an EPA study done in 2010, which determined whether a safe amount of chemicals from the dredging process were being released in the air.

"We determined that the EPA actually employed lets say flawed methods and so their conclusion of acceptable risk we found to be invalid, not true," says Minnich.

For it's part, the DEC says it's developed a comprehensive air monitoring program, reviews data on a daily basis and believes the process is safe. In a statement released to CNYCentral, the DEC says, "the report appears to be based on many assumptions and predictions rather than actual air quality data that has been collected on the site and in the community over the past year".

In terms of the report, Honeywell says to consult with the DEC, but released the following statement to CNYCentral: "According to DEC, air monitoring data collected to date does not indicate a community health concern; all levels are lower than concentrations established for the protection of public health".

"You can't deny science. This is the truth. I just don't know how much longer they can keep up the charade," says Wade.